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The Thinking Machine: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Neural Networks

21-23 August 2018

The great increase in computation power over the past decades is having a transformational effect on society, as computers are now able to learn how to react autonomously to input data. A main driver behind this development are the artificial neural networks. Originally inspired by brain functionality, they are now taking on a life of their own, reflected in the popular term 'artificial intelligence'. The pervasiveness and promise of this concept and its applications is striking. At the same time, the application of machine learning to the real world is highly controversial, raising issues of security, fairness and accountability.

Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies (AIAS) hosts this international conference tackling the background, theory, and applications of neural networks in a cross-disciplinary manner. International researchers from the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities are invited to present and discuss their work, addressing the broad range of ways in which ‘thinking machines’ are expected to have an impact on our future lives.


Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University, Buildings 1630-1632, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. See location on a map.

Keynote speakers

  • José del R. Millán, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • Patrick Jagoda, Dept. of English & Dept.of Cinema & Media Studies, University of Chicago, USA
  • Maria Schuld, Quantum Research Group, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa & Xanadu Quantum Computing Inc, Toronto, Canada

Invited speakers

  • Bendert Zevenbergen, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University, USA    
  • Sune Lehmann Jørgensen, Dept. of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
  • Mads Rydahl, former head of Product Design at SIRI, CVO, Founder of UNSILO
  • Duda Kvitsiani, DANDRITE, Aarhus University, Denmark 

Programme at a glance

Tuesday, 21 August
19:00-21:00: Welcome reception, AIAS Hall: Finger food & wine, food for thought & networking    
Talk on 'Deep or Shallow?'by Mads Rydahl, former head of Product Design at SIRI, CVO, Founder of UNSILO

Wednesday, 22 August  
08:30-09:00: Registration and coffee
09:00-17:00: Keynote 1 and 2 and session talks

18:00-19.00: Guided Tour at ARoS Art Museum
19:00-22:00: Conference dinner, ARoS

Thursday, 23 August
09:00-14.:30: Keynote 3 and session talks

Detailed programme (UPDATED ON 21 AUG 2018)


Registration and conference fee

The conference is open to all and participation in the session talks is free of charge. Seats are given to registered participants first. If you wish to join the conference including catering and to ensure a seat, the following fees are available:

  • Fee for Participants who are not presenting: 
    DKK 300,- (EUR 40) (including lunches and coffee and a VAT of 25 %)
    DKK 800,- (EUR 105) (including lunches and coffee, Guided Tour at ARoS, Conference dinner and a VAT of 25 %)  

A reduced fee is available for:

  • Fee for Students and PhD Students: 
    DKK 100,- (EUR 15) (including lunches and coffee and a VAT of 25 %)
    DKK 600,- (EUR 80) (including lunches and coffee, Guided Tour at ARoS, Conference dinner and a VAT of 25 %)
  • Presenters: free of charge; including conference dinner

Click here to register for the conference.

Deadline for registration is on 14 August 2018 at noon (GMT).

Conference dinner  

A conference dinner will be held at the restaurant at the ARoS art museum on Wednesday 22 August. The dinner includes a guided tour through the museum. The dinner is open for all delegates who have registered for the conference. A fee of DKK 500,- (EUR 65) is charged for the dinner for all delegates who are not presenting.    

Call for Papers: CLOSED

Read the full call and how to submit

Deadline: 1 May 2018

Scientific committee