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Prof. dr. Pieter Adriaans

Professor, Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence.

Pieter Adriaans started a career as a painter in his early teens paying his brothers and his sister to sit as a model. He has been combining science and business with his artistic work for the last 40 years. He studied philosophy in Leiden, the Netherlands, under Nuchelmans and van Peursen. He was research assistent of Fresco for a while with the study of the philosophical estate of the well known Dutch philosopher and poet Johan Adreas Dér Mouw 1863-1919 as a special assignment. In 1983 he graduated and started to work as a software developer, and later service manager for Buro Microsoftware. In 1985 he became general manager of Compu'Disc and later general manager of Info'Products Informatica Diensten. He has been active in research in the areas of artificial intelligence and relational database systems since 1984. He and his business partner, Dolf Zantinge, founded Syllogic B.V. in 1989. In 1992 Adriaans received a PhD in computer science at the University of Amsterdam, where he has been professor of machine learning/artificial intelligence since 1998. Dolf and Pieter sold Syllogic to Perot Systems ( in 1997, and stayed on as managing directors - a transaction which officially included time off for Pieter to sail the Singlehanded TransAtlantic Race 2000. For this race he developed the Syllogic Sailing Lab the most advanced open 40 racing yacht around at that time ( In this project he combined his skills in machine learning with his love of sailing to create a racing yacht that could learn to optimize its behavior. After his return from the ocean in 2000, Adriaans decided to dedicate his life to the combination of science and art. Currently he is primarily interested in meta-learning and learning as data compression using the theory of Kolmogorov complexity as a guiding principle. He is leading the VL-e (Virtual lab for e-science) project at the institute for computer science at the university of Amsterdam.

After a small TIA in 2008 Adriaans decided to step down from almost all of his managerial responsibilities. He is still member of the AWT (Advisory Council for Science and Technology Policy). He holds several patents on adaptive systems management and on a method for automatic composition of music using grammar induction techniques. Adriaans acted as project leader for various large international R&D projects: amongst others, the development of distributed database management software in co-operation with IBM and Prognostic and Health management for the Joint Strike Fighter. He wrote numerous articles and a number of books on topics related to both computer science and philosophy, including a book on systems analysis and books on client/server and distributed databases as well as data mining. Currently he is editor of the Handbook of Philosophy of Information, a project of Elseviers Science Publishers.

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