Amsterdam and The Netherlands welcome World Summit AI back for its 5th anniversary

The claims about the promises of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are plentiful and growing. Advances in AI technologies are poised to unleash the next wave of digital disruption. 

This also makes it important to stay updated on different trends, developments, and newer applications of AI. Conferences like World Summit AI (WSAI) aim to do just that.

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What is World Summit AI (WSAI)?

WSAI is an internationally renowned gathering of the global AI ecosystem comprising Enterprise, BigTech, Startups, Investors, and Science.  

At this summit, the brightest brains in AI are invited to speak every year in Amsterdam and Montreal to tackle the most burning AI issues, and to set the global AI agenda. 

WSAI is organised by InspiredMinds, a global AI and Health technology community with a presence in Amsterdam, Montreal, and New York. Launched in 2016 by Sarah Porter, InspiredMinds aims to make emerging technology more inclusive, diverse, and available to all.

WSAI in Amsterdam

With the Dutch government announcing that from September 25 it is no longer mandatory to keep 1,5 meter distance, essentially giving business events a green light, WSAI makes a physical return to Amsterdam. The edition is also special because it marks WSAI’s 5 year anniversary in Amsterdam. 

“This is the news we, our partners and clients, have been waiting for,” says Charlie Cracknell, InspiredMinds Managing Director. 

The summit will also be simultaneously streamed online to allow its renowned international audiences to join – heads of government, business, startups, and big tech pioneers from around the world.

Anita Nijboer, Ambassador, AI Technology for People, says, “On behalf of the AI Technology for People – an Amsterdam coalition of the main knowledge institutions, academic hospitals, and the Municipality of Amsterdam – it is great that we can meet each other again at the World Summit AI in Amsterdam. We are open and ready for businesses and students and are very happy to host events again.”

The summit this year will also see the combination of three brands –  World Summit AI, Intelligent Health AI, and the launch of TMinus30 – a new InspiredMinds! Summit on climate and the future of food and agriculture.

StartupAmsterdam, Smart Health Amsterdam, the Municipality of Amsterdam’s CTO Innovation Team and the Amsterdam Convention Bureau are proud to be the official City Partner and support this flagship event throughout the three days. The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and the Netherlands AI Coalition have arranged an NL Lounge which will showcase leading Dutch AI initiatives.

InspiredMinds add, “Bringing people back together in a COVID safe event environment at World Summit AI, Intelligent Health, and TMinus30 in October in Amsterdam is a fantastic opportunity for us to reconnect the global AI community, in person, for the first time in many months”. 

Amsterdam: ‘Living lab’ for AI solutions

Amsterdam is one of the most AI-ready cities in the world. In fact, it is on its way to become a world leader in the field of AI, with a focus on business innovation, health, and ethics. 

According to amsterdam inbusiness, machine learning is already playing a big part in Amsterdam’s business sectors. Further, continuous collaborations between academic, public, and private organisations are pushing AI in other areas of business and society. 

Maarten Sukel, AI Lead at the City of Amsterdam, Innovation Team, says,  “The vision of the municipality’s innovation department is based on four pillars: 1) Build technology that works for the people of Amsterdam; 2) Stimulate and develop the AI ecosystem to attract global AI talent to come live and work in the city; 3) Use AI to make the world fairer and protect everyone’s digital rights and 4) Make data about the city open for its citizens.”

With top AI talent, academic expertise, and a vibrant startup scene, Amsterdam is a well-suited location for testing out new AI projects for the future. Here are some of the projects that the City of Amsterdam is working on:

Object Detection Kit

ODK is an image recognition kit for municipalities to detect different types of objects in the streets and get a real image of what is happening in the city. 

1.5 Meter Monitor

1.5 MM detects the distance between citizens, helping them to comply with Covid regulations.

Street View Panorama Images

The City of Amsterdam records images of the streets, which contain valuable information about the location and condition of assets in the public space. Panorama images are collected to add information to 3D models, determine the condition of assets, and mapping.

3D Point Cloud

3D Point Cloud, rather than pictures, provides a 3D model from the whole city to accurately locate assets using LiDar-scanners in vehicles. The technology captures the exact location of objects, including their width, depth, and height. The data gives information about the streets of Amsterdam, which can be extracted using AI.

Amsterdam for All

Amsterdam for All consists of a series of experiments to help to measure accessibility in the city.

Touria Meliani, Deputy Mayor of the Digital City, says, “I support the development of responsible AI. I think it will be important to Amsterdam as a city and to everyone who lives here.”

More can be found on 

Why is WSAI important for Amsterdam?

WSAI is an important event for Amsterdam as it provides the audience with ideal opportunities to dig even deeper into the implementation opportunities and challenges in AI.

The AI summit will have two days of mind-boggling innovation, heated discussions on AI and ethics, workshops, masterclass sessions, plenary sessions, table-talks and curated 121 meetings.

The WSAI serves as a great starting point for budding AI startups to showcase their products and businesses and seek funding. Also, experts speak on their actionable insights that might provide shortcuts that spare startups from learning things the hard way. 

What you can expect from the Dutch AI ecosystem

The World Summit AI global summit is known for having the best speakers, workshops, and panel discussions where the prominent speakers will be disseminating knowledge of AI at the event. Check out some of the key sessions hosted by the Dutch AI ecosystem below:

Opening speech by Prince Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau, Special Envoy Techleapnl

HEADLINER: Professor Max Welling, Research Chair, Machine Learning, University of Amsterdam

WORKSHOP: Urban AI in Amsterdam by Maarten Sukel, AI Lead, City of Amsterdam, Daan Bloembergen, AI Researcher, City of Amsterdam, Iva Gornishka, AI Specialist, City of Amsterdam

PANEL DISCUSSION: How to create a coherent, national-level AI strategy. Moderated by Marloes Pomp, International Partnerships Netherlands AI Coalition & Steering Committee European AI Forum

TECH TALK: Dr. Maarten de Rijke, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Information Retrieval, University of Amsterdam

PANEL DISCUSSION: Building an AI ecosystem with NVIDIA, EscherCloud, CTO Office, City of Amsterdam. Moderated by: Oliviana Bailey, Head of Brand & Community, EscherCloud and NL Ambassador for Women in AI

NL LOUNGE: hosted by Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, the Netherlands AI Coalition and regional partners, the lounge’s programme offers lightning talks from the most prominent AI innovations from the Dutch AI scene. Hear the pitches, projects and initiatives of Digi.Bio, Mindaffect, Orikami, Purple Gaze, AIWorX, Zeta Alpha, Kepler Vision, Leiden University, Spectral, TU Delft,, Findest, Legal Air, UbiOps, Bybr, Fruitpunch, University of Amsterdam, Axveco,, Researchable, Digital Sundai, Techleap and more.

Check out the list of 14 Amsterdam startups selected to exhibit at Intelligent Health on October 12 and World Summit AI on October 13 and October 14 here

Work on AI with the City of Amsterdam

Are you a Master’s student (AI and Data Science) looking for an opportunity to conduct graduation research on real-life problems? You can check out 13 internship positions here

If you’re attending WSAI this week – join the workshop hosted by the City of Amsterdam’s Innovation team on the 13th of October: Urban AI in Amsterdam. If you’re interested in what the city is doing in terms of AI in general and would like to get involved, do reach out to the CTO team.

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