AI Trade Mission to Boston with Prime Minister Mark Rutte
AIRecht.nl lawyers Mauritz Kop and Suzan Slijpen joined the Dutch AI trade mission to Boston, Massachusetts led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Bruno Bruins. It was a big success. We visited leading companies in Health Care, Climate Resilience and Robotics & Artificial Intelligence and participated in high quality meetings and events at -inter alia- Harvard Wyss Institute, MIT CSAIL, IBM Watson, Amazon Robotics, Humatics and Philips Healthworks R&D HQ USA.
Photo report AI, Health & Climate Resilience Trade Mission to beautiful Boston
During our stay in the United States we built an eclectic network of representatives from business, academia, consultancy and administration. Learning and building on shared experiences is a two way street: we gathered knowledge of the technological state of the art in Robotics & AI. We shared our own latest research insights on AI & IP, open access, public domain and ethics that facilitate innovation with influential academic institutions and ambitious, frontrunning entrepreneurs. This blog contains a photo report of our economic mission to the beautiful city of Boston.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte interviewed Mauritz Kop during debriefing at the Museum of Fine Arts & Koch Gallery Boston. They reflected on AI becoming Chefsache, the concept of Trustworthy AI, exporting European ethical values to the USA via the Dutch AI Impact Assessment (ECP), and building a strong and vibrant AI ecosystem in The Netherlands. In addition, we took a nice group photo!
AIRecht.nl website included in IBM Watson presentation on ethical AI
We were honoured and thrilled to see that Nicola Palmarini, Global Manager AI for Healthy Aging IBM Research - MIT/IBM Watson AI Lab Cambridge and Tedx Speaker, included our AIRecht.nl website in his presentation about the moral, legal and ethical implications of AI, at IBM Watson Health.
Influence of European Trustworthy AI on United States at MIT CSAIL
Professor Daniela Rus welcomed us to MIT CSAIL, where we attended a lab tour that included robotic manipulation, AI for Healthcare, brain-controlled robots and the Baxter Robot.
Intellectual property policy
We had an inspiring discussion with MIT professors Peter Szolovits and David Sontag, who specialize in machine learning, artificial intelligence, healthcare and natural language processing at MIT CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) about the influence of the European concept of Trustworthy AI on United States’ AI and big data ethics, practise and policy. MIT is the home of professor Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web. Besides that, we talked about open access, patents on inventions and the MIT intellectual property policy. We will follow up with them shortly on this subject.
Artificial Intelligence Impact Assessment for Prime Minister Mark Rutte
At MIT CSAIL, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his court joined our group and we handed him a hardcopy of the English version of the Artificial Intelligence Impact Assessment. The AIIA is a guide for the development, application and implementation of artificial intelligence. Through a practical checklist from a legal, technical and ethical point of view.
Humatics company visit: bringing microlocation navigation to robots
Humatics is a pioneer in microlocation technology. Founder David Mindell, accompanied by Amy Villeneuve, Rags Gupta, Doug Wilmut and Matt Carey showcased the next advancements in (millimetre scale) mapping, localization and precision navigation of robots. David taught us that millimetre-precision-navigation will revolutionise positioning and therefore robotics as a whole. Humatics is a frontrunner in bringing microlocation to robots, using simultaneous localization & mapping (SLAM) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology (deep learning machine vision technology which is beyond camera’s) for autonomous guided vehicles (AGV’s) and autonomous mobile robots (AMR’s). They even invented their own computerchip! We asked David if he plans to use Dutch quantum computer power from the TU Delft (QuTech) for microlocation, but he told us the ultra-wideband Humatics chip will do just fine, and that different tasks require different chip architecture. The Humatics chip will help solve the fundamental question: “where am I?”
Veo Robotics company visit: computer vision, 3D sensing and AI
Veo Robotics VP Alberto Moel taught us all about Perception & Intelligence for Industrial Robots. His company augments existing machines (from the Big 4 Robot Manufacturers ABB, FANUC, KUKA, and Yaskawa Motoma) using computer vision, 3D sensing and AI to make them safer, in line with ISO standards. To that end, Veo built their own dedicated computerhardware solution, to make the necessary calculations. We tested the robots sensory capacities using a soft baseball bat – and it worked!
MIT The Engine company visit: Ideas growing into companies
MIT The Engine is a powerful community of tough tech founders building the next generation of world-changing companies. It’s all about ideas growing into companies. The Engine bridges the gap between discovery and commercialization by empowering disruptive technologies with the long-term capital, knowledge, network connections, and the specialized equipment and labs they need to thrive. The company offers funds, infrastructure and a high quality network. Reed Sturtevant showcased 17 incredible initiatives, each working on scientific breakthroughs and converging technologies that hold the potential to change the future. Such as Hyperlight, Cambridge Electronics, Boston Metal and Suono Bio.
Hyperlight: democratizing the power of lithium niobate (LN)
Hyperlight is founded by Mian Zhang, Marko Loncar (Tiantsai Lin Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, Harvard College Professor) and Cheng Wang. Hyperlight offers performance solutions for integrated optical circuits using nano photonics and quantum optical computing (!) It aims to democratize (lower costs) the power of lithium niobate (LN) in electro-optic modulators and photonic platforms.
The amount of PhD’s and patents owned among these companies – big and small – is awe inspiring.
The future of autonomous driving and flying cars
That day, we discussed the future of autonomous driving and flying cars with Steven Crowe (Editor - The Robot Report and Co-chair - Robotics Summit & Expo), Eric Balles (Draper), Glen Mello (Silicon Valley Bank), Ryan Chin (Optimus Ride) and serial entrepreneur annex angel investor Joshua Wachman (Deep1 , Nor'easter Ventures, MIT Deshpande Center). According to Glen, despite high hopes, self-driving cars are 'Way in the Future'. Steve showed us that Autonomous Vehicle Investments have gone through the roof the first months of 2019.
Greensight Agronomics company visit: autonomous aerial data collection
Greensight Agronomics and Turfcloud make golf courses greener. They do this, using their automated turfgrass and agricultural intelligence service. GA offers autonomous aerial data collection hardware & data analysis software tools. They are leaders in Autonomous Aerial Intelligence and offer End-to-End Land Management. Jason VanBuskirk and Andrew DeLollis showed us some before-and-after thermal images from a golf course that could use some hydration! The company excels in drone-enabled management and preventive maintenance of crop fields and beyond.
Neurala company visit: Lifelong-DNN and Continual Learning
Neurala brings Artificial Intelligence to the Edge. Co-Founder Heather Ames Versace showcased the Neurala Brain, which uses a proprietary set of (Continual Learning) algorithms, Lifelong-DNN (Deep Neural Networks), to emulate the way biological brains see the world and continuously learn from it. Lifelong-DNN for Self-Driving Cars, Drones, Toys, Smart Devices, Consumer Electronics and Other Machines pushes AI beyond on-device inference and allows it to learn on the device itself. This exceptional technology can learn on the device without using the cloud and overcomes catastrophic forgetting. We asked Heather about General Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity, but she doesn’t expect this to come upon us anytime soon!
Affectiva company visit: Human Perception AI
Affectiva is all about Human Perception AI. Gabi Zijderveld showcased their app, which can detect how we feel by interpreting our facial expression. The company’s software detects all things human using deep learning algorithms: nuanced emotions, complex cognitive states, behaviors, activities, interactions and objects people use. Their driver state monitoring system can save lives. I wonder if they trained their AI using symphony orchestra directors facial expressions. Such as the sculptured face, nonverbal language and body cues from Herbert Von Karajan, former Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmonic.
SmartVid Company visit: AI in Enterprise Photo and Video Management
SmartVid VP Dimitri Grenader showcased how to use AI in Enterprise Photo and Video Management. This company reduces risk by combining the field team's manual observations with automatic observations from Vinnie, the construction-trained AI engine. A human-machine collaboration. Smartvid deploys three modules: Safety Observations, Safety Monitoring and Predictive Analytics, that can be used to make construction sites safer. Clients consist of both construction companies and insurance companies.
Harvard Wyss Institute: Helping Breakthrough Discoveries leave the Lab
The Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering uses biological design principles to develop new engineering innovations that will transform medicine and create a more sustainable world. Since breakthrough discoveries cannot change the world if they do not leave the lab, the Wyss’ Innovation Funnel (a technology translation engine) enables their staff with product development experience to prototype, mature and de-risk their innovative technologies. Such as concept validation and technology refinement. An internal business development team, flanked by intellectual property experts (copyrights, patents, trade secrets, design rights, brand names) and entrepreneurs-in-residence drive commercialization, through industrial partnerships, licensing agreements, and the creation of start-ups. Intellectual property created at the Wyss Institute can be licensed through Harvard’s Office of Technology Development.
Nature inspired inventions
Angelika Fretzen introduced our delegation to 6 nature inspired inventions that include soft wearable actuators and sensors, soft robotic manipulation, 3D organ printing and Pop-up MEMS (micro-electrical mechanical systems). We were particularly impressed by (and quickly attached to) Kaushik Jayarem’s insect inspired microrobots (RoboBees) which consist of three main components: Body, Brain and Colony.
Megan Applegate’s industrial exosuits can prevent occupational back pain. The exosuits therefor increase workers’ quality of life and reduce company’s operating costs. It is a patent pending soft wearable robot with integrated smart sensors. A lightweight and textile based system that feels and moves like clothing. Standing all day long, we asked Megan where we could buy an exosuit, but they aren’t for sale yet!
Bioinspired robot swarms
Justin Werfel’s bioinspired robot swarms look to replicate biological cooperation systems, drawing inspiration from social insects, cells and body-brain-colony interactions. The swarm robotics paradigm combines principles of AI, robotics and field biology. Werfel’s team also studies possibilities to design emergent systems that can engineer dams, which can control floods. The latter appeals to the Dutch, who invented groundbreaking solutions to rising seas themselves, as part of a holistic philosophy of climate adaptation. It would be great to team up in an intercontinental effort to fight the effects of climate change!
Company visit: Boston Consulting Group: implementing the skills agenda
During an interactive lunch workshop at Boston Consulting Group we were given the opportunity to pitch our own companies. We subsequently discussed implementing the skills agenda, and the need to invest in the workforce of the future. We talked about HR strategy, talent development, attracting and retaining talent (brain drain versus brain gain) training programs, lifelong learning, change management and leadership choices.
IBM Watson Health: Get ready to be Watsonized!
IBM Watson Health is committed to advance health and human services. Peter Zijlema welcomed the delegation in their futuristic office (Watson Cognitive Experience Centre) in Cambridge, MA. The company enables professionals to share health data and deliver insight to furthercare through hospitals, providers, insurers, researchers and patients. At the Watson experience centre, we were given presentations about preventing loss of knowledge by putting human experience in an AI. This is super important, for instance when a lead engineer at an oil platform retires. Watson offers a complete array of services, ranging smart services for the food industry to natural language processing and speech to text. So get ready to be Watsonized! Watson can help to meet food traceability requirements for organic foods. The machine’s compare and comply service extracts data and elements from your contracts (pdf, word) and other governing documents to streamline business processes. It helps to minimize risks and reduces costs. Moreover, ethics play an important role in IBM’s vision on AI. It felt exactly like the ‘Computer’ in Star Trek!
Boston Dynamics nimble robot Spot
At Boston Dynamics, creator of revolutionary robots, Prime Minister Mark Rutte was allowed to test Spot, a nimble, four-legged robot that handles objects, climbs stairs, and can operate in offices, homes and outdoors. The companies intelligent, dynamic robots are preparing to leave the lab and aim at making the world safer, increase productivity and improve the life of the workforce (instead of replacing them).
Position paper Task Force AI: Invest and Collaborate
While in Boston, Task Force AI presented a position paper to Prime Minister Mark Rutte, named "Algorithms that work for everyone: Building our (digital) future with artificial intelligence together", in which concrete proposals are made for a Dutch approach. Weeks before the launch of the governments National AI Strategy, the Task Force AI (which consists of leading AI companies and academia) calls for fund to be released over several years and to join forces in a public-private partnership, based on equal investments. To ensure an innovation optimum and safeguard our current level of prosperity, the Nederlandse AI Coalition must catalyse and utilize the power of public-private cooperation in a triple helix structure. Private parties and academia offer to invest 1 billion in human centred AI research, development and implementation themselves, and ask the government to double that amount and perform a 1 billion public investment. Because of strong winner takes all effects, it is important to be a first mover in AI. Our thoughts exactly, over 1 year ago!
Holland Trade Dinner at the U-Mass Club
That evening, the Holland Trade Dinner at the U-Mass Club brought together Dutch and US business and principles, in an effort to establish and reinforce existing relations and build new ones. A dinner with a stunning view! We were welcomed by Ambassador Henne Schuwer. Massachussets Governor Charles D. Baker delivered a meaningful speech about Dutch-American history (the Governor’s presentation skills were impressive). Prime Minister Mark Rutte – after thanking the kind people of Boston for their hospitality - made a keynote about the importance of good Dutch-US trade relationships, the mutual benefit of strong partnerships, and positioned The Netherlands as the United States’ main portal to the European Union. It was an evening of great conversations with Barbara Benoit, Director of Graduate Enrollment & Strategic Outreach, College of Management at University of Massachusetts Boston, and other Boston AI & Robotics insiders who were invited to the Club. After this lovely dinner, we walked back to hotel through the beautiful and well maintained Boston Common and Public Garden.
RightHand Robotics company visit: reliable piece-picking solution for ecommerce
RightHand Robotics (RHR) is a leader in providing end-to-end solutions that reduce the cost of e-commerce order-fulfilment of electronics, apparel, grocery, pharmaceuticals, and countless other industries. The company offers a reliable piece-picking solution (RightPick) made possible by groundbreaking research in grasping systems, intelligent hardware sensors, computer vision, and applied machine learning. It even has an acoustic muffler! In 2012, they won a prestigious DARPA award. Their office is located in a cosy former postal office, and has a nice museum that showcases the timeline and progress of their inventions. The Dutch like souvenirs, so thanks to the engineering team for those!
Philips Breakthrough Program: Human centred innovation in healthcare
The Philips Breakthrough Program powered by Philips Healthworks helps exceptional start-ups who are developing groundbreaking hardware, software, and services in health and personal care to build, test, de-risk and scale their ideas in a state of the art, innovation accelerating environment, surrounded by people who share the same passion for ideas that can save lives. The company’s aim is to drive much-needed human centred innovation in healthcare. Darren Adams and Peter Osborne showcased us how corporates and start-ups are working together to solve some very tough problems, combining creativity and a capable workforce. Philips recently acquired Medumo, a Boston patient management startup, that is able to deliver hospital instructions to patients.
Clinical Pathways: mapping patients to the appropriate treatment options
Philips has innovation hubs in Shanghai, Eindhoven & Hamburg, Bangalore and Boston/ Cambridge. We were also impressed by a keynote about clinical pathways, a suite of Oncology Informatics Solutions that delivers best practices and clinical decision support for cancer care management. Clinical Pathways helps oncologists quickly reach the most appropriate cancer treatments for patients, by effectively mapping cancer patients to the appropriate treatment options.
Expanding our firm to the Boston area
While being at Philips, we also spoke with Wells T. Wakefield from ProjectLawGroup PLLC, who was on the start-up ‘phd-panel’. His firm helps clients with commodification of ideas and products, registering IPR, immigration and bridging the gap between idea and market. As our firm AIRecht.nl does in Europe. Wells immediately offered us to assist in expanding our firm to the Boston area, which is much appreciated!
Museum of Fine Arts and Koch Gallery Boston
The mission’s debriefing took place in the grandeur of the Museum of Fine Arts and Koch Gallery Boston. There, we had the chance to see an extraordinary art collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish masters, such as Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Hendrick Avercamp, Simon de Vlieger, Frans Hals and Aelbert Cuyp. We were welcomed by Christopher Atkins, Joost Taverne and Cameran Mason. The original MFA was founded in 1870 and opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876, the nation's centennial. The museum welcomes over 1 million visitors per year and also hosts a School, which is part of Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences.
Van Otterloo and Weatherbie art donation
Rose-Marie & Eijk De Mol van Otterloo and Susan & Matthew Weatherbie gave presentations about their art donation to the Museum. It is one of the finest art collections in the world. One of the central pieces of the Van Otterloo art donation is ‘Aeltje Uylenburgh' by Rembrandt, painted in 1639. Moreover, the Van Otterloos donated a major research library (the Haverkamp-Begemann Library) to serve as a resource for research and publication for the MFA.
Official Trade Delegation led by PM Mark Rutte and Minister Bruno Bruins
The official delegation consisted of the Ministry of General Affairs, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (Focco Vijselaar), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington (Henne Schuwer, Wampie Libon, Sigrid Johanisse), the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Dolph Hogewoning) and the Holland Innovation Network Boston (Walter de Wit).
We enjoyed insightful discussions with André Driessen, Ulrich Mans and Stefan Koreneef about business culture, courtesey, propriety, sensitivity to environment, protocol and spontaneity when dealing with foreign companies and political leaders.
Business Delegation led by Hans de Boer
The trade mission’s business delegation was led by Hans de Boer - President Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers VNO-NCW. Hans brings positive energy, motivates and always adds value. In Boston, we subdivided into 3 tracks. First, Lifesciences & Health, led by Hans Schikan. This track divided into two groups: Biotechnology and Digital Care/eHealth. Second, Robotics & Artificial Intelligence with dual trackleadership by Philips President Hans de Jong and Seedlink CEO Rina Joosten-Rabou. Third, Climate Resilience led by Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs.
Holland Innovation Attaché Network
The content of the 3 programs came about in collaboration with the Holland Innovation Attaché Network in Boston, the Dutch Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General in New York, VNO-NCW and the relevant ministries in The Hague. In addition, the FME association, the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and the Task Force Health Care (TFHC) where involved in the specific implementation of the sub-programs for the business community.
A selection of promising Dutch AI companies
A selection of promising Dutch AI companies, start-ups and scale-ups, that participated in the mission include Avisi/ MoreApp, ADHD City, Capgemini, Considerati, Dashmote, Festa Solutions, Gartner/ EMEA Consulting, MMID, Onwijs/ SovaCare ExperienceTable, Seedlink, Sempergreen, Sense Health/ NiceDay and SINGA.
AIRecht.nl vision on Artificial Intelligence
Our legal consultancy firm AIRecht.nl participates in the European AI Alliance, AINED, ICAI, NL AI Coalition, ECP, CLAIRE and in AI policy making. AI and the law is what we do. We specialize in intellectual property in Data, AI systems, Robotics, Health, Food/Agri and Entertainment. Our dream is to help facilitate innovation.
Machines must become our companions, not our opponents. We have a strong vision that AI can assist humanity to find answers and inclusive solutions to global challenges we face, such as disease prevention, income inequality and climate change. Our mission - and we are extremely passionate and determined about this, is to remove obstacles to trade production and investment, in robust social and reliable AI, and to maximize intellectual property on AI input and output in an ethically responsible manner.
Building meaningful Transatlantic relationships
The trade mission has given us great contacts, opportunities for collaboration within the Transatlantic economy, research and trade in Artificial Intelligence, Health and Robotics. It was a one of a kind experience and a perfect occasion to build meaningful relationships.
In the words of VNO-NCW President Hans de Boer:
‘Our societies are currently confronted with global challenges such as climate change, urbanization, food security and digitalization to name only a few. I believe that good cooperation between our countries can contribute to new, innovative and sustainable solutions, and new product-market combinations. I am convinced that economic relations between our two countries have a promising future.’
In the words of Prime Minister Mark Rutte:
‘Parallel economic interests and shared challenges have been the foundation of the long-standing and strong partnership between the United States and the Netherlands. These common features make this mission the perfect occasion to intensify our relations, particularly in Boston. As one of the world’s most important knowledge centres, this city is home to many leading and influential businesses, academic networks and investment firms. In this light, there is significant potential for Dutch institutions and companies to forge new partnerships and boost investment.
This mission will enable us not only to bring knowledge to Boston but also to gather knowledge and build on shared experiences. It will foster an inspiring exchange of visions and expertise, which will boost trade and investment, reinforce our transatlantic ties and nurture solutions for the benefit of many others throughout the world.’
Thank you everybody involved in the organisation, in particular Sandra Pompe (RVO) and Aafke Mak (FME), and a special mention for Molly Douglas and our driver Dennis, who diligently made sure we reached our destinations in time. Next project: Stanford University and Silicon Valley!
AIRecht.nl Company Profile
Artificiële Intelligentie & Recht: AI and the Law
AIRecht is a leading legal consultancy firm with a focus on 4th Industrial Revolution technology. Our laywers anticipate on transformative science such as Artificial Intelligence, smart robotics, quantum computing, IoT, cognitive brain-inspired computing, nature-inspired solutions and big data.
As legal pioneers in AI deployment and AI policy making, our mission is to remove obstacles to trade, production and investment in robust, social and reliable AI and to maximize intellectual property on AI input and output in an ethically responsible manner.
We represent clients from modest tech startups to globally operating multinationals.
Industries: Food, Health and Entertainment
We consult our clients in the niche field of European Food Law, Health Law and Contract Law, at a national and international level. These services cover issues such as quality standards, food labelling, safety and traceability requirements, GMO’s & biotechnology laws and market entry of novel foods.
In the area of Pharmaceutical Law, we offer services regarding Good Manufacturing Practices, medicine packaging and medical device permit requirements, product safety & liability and medical software licenses.
In the area of Entertainment Law, we offer services such as international contract drafting, licensing and intellectual property strategy.
Unique Selling Points
We offer proactive lawyering services such as:
AI Impact Assessment on Trustworthy AI development & implementation
International business contract drafting and screening
Fair, trusted data ecosystem strategy & GDPR privacy requirements
Commodification of IoT devices
Intellectual property strategy, copyrights & related rights, NDA, trade secrets, ownership of data, patents, clearance of training corpora, sharing and open source licenses.
Profile of Commercial Contacts Wanted
We are (inter alia) interested in fostering partnerships with companies who develop AI-systems in Digital Healthcare (wearables, health apps, home robots, VR), Food-Feed-Agri (personalized nutrition apps, traceability, GMP) and Entertainment (online platforms).