Intimate Computing is Computing with Vulnerability – Presented by Birna van Riemsdijk, TU Delft

Intimate Computing is Computing with Vulnerability – Presented by Birna van Riemsdijk, TU Delft, at the Internet of People Event, which will take place on 23 November 2018, at Studio HvA Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Intimate technology such as quantified self, mobile location sharing apps, social media, high-tech clothing, and behaviour support technology such as smart homes become more and more pervasive in our daily lives. These digital technologies have many (potential) benefits, for example for improving our health, efficiency, safety, and human connection.

However, we are also concerned about how these technologies affect us as human beings, in particular when combined with the power of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.

I posit that our concerns about intimate technologies can be understood as vulnerability arising from their intimate nature, and put forward a vision of intimate computing as computing with vulnerability: intimate technologies should take into account human vulnerabilities, allowing humans to reflect on and actively shape their vulnerable existence in interaction with these technologies.

In this way, we create a digital society in which technology partners with us rather than controls us.

What drives you?
Shaping a digital society that embraces softness and vulnerability, allowing us to feel wonder in our intimate technological experiences

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Digital technology embedded in clothing, in combination with AI to provide vulnerability-aware support

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
I expect these technologies will create entirely new forms of expression and ways of interacting

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Lack of attention for human needs

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
It provides a new perspective on how we might shape our digital society

About Birna van Riemsdijk
Birna van Riemsdijk is Associate Professor Intimate Computing at Delft University of Technology and guest researcher at University of Twente in The Netherlands.

She develops modelling and reasoning techniques for software that can take into account human vulnerabilities, in particular, norms and values of people.

She is recipient of the Dutch Prize for Research in ICT 2014 and was elected member of the board of the International Foundation of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS) from 2012-2018.

About TU Delft
Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands (TU Delft) is a modern university with a rich tradition. Its eight faculties and over 30 English-language Master programmes are at the forefront of technological development, contributing to scientific advancement in the interests of society. Ranked among the top universities of technology in Europe (#18, QS 2010) TU Delft’s excellent research and education standards are backed by outstanding facilities, research institutes and research schools.


About Internet of People Event
The Internet of People Event will take place on November 23, 2018, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Scope: Internet of People (IoP) = Internet of Things (IoT) + the ’WOW’ factor, The Human. In the following years we will see an entirely new Internet emerging, as the Internet unleashes itself from the creators’ intentions and develops in transformative ways. Humans are shaping the future of this new human Internet. When things get smarter, how do humans and things cooperate? The conference will address this social aspect of the internet, the internet of humans.

Focus topics: Interaction between things and humans | The Human Internet vs the Machine Internet | People as peripherals | Big Data; New open standards for personal data | Social impact of connected devices | Internet of Brain | Security and Privacy | Ethical issues | Cloud intelligence | Cognitive computing | Wearable Technology and Application | Technology developments: Human body signal collection/ Biometric Sensors/ Improved human interface

It will be a niche and innovative event, where you will be able to join in the discussions around the main topics. The conference also includes lunch, breaks and drinks & snacks in the evening, a nice opportunity of networking with the other attendees and the speakers (you will also receive the list of participants a couple of days before the conference, so you can plan ahead).

For more information and registration, we invite you to visit

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