Keynote Speakers




Keynote 1


Who: Francesca Rossi

When: September 17th h 9:30 – 10:00

IBM AI Ethics Global Leader and Distinguished Research Staff Member at IBM Research.
Previously, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Padova, Italy.

Her research interests focus on artificial intelligence, specifically they include constraint reasoning, preferences, multi-agent systems, computational social choice, and collective decision making. She is also interested in ethical issues in the development and behaviour of AI systems, in particular for decision support systems for group decision making. She has published over 190 scientific articles in journals and conference proceedings, and as book chapters. She has co-authored a book and she has edited 17 volumes, between conference proceedings, collections of contributions, special issues of journals, and a handbook.

She is a fellow of both the worldwide association of AI (AAAI) and of the European one (EurAI).
She has been president of IJCAI (International Joint Conference on AI), an executive councillor of AAAI,
and the Editor in Chief of the Journal of AI Research. She is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Future of Life Institute (Cambridge, USA) and a deputy director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (Cambridge, UK). She is in the executive committee of the IEEE global initiative on ethical considerations on the development of autonomous and intelligent systems and she is a member of the board of directors of the Partnership on AI, where she represents IBM as one of the founding partners. She is a member of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on AI and the general chair of the AAAI 2020 conference.


AI is going to bring huge benefits in terms of scientific progress, human well-being, economic value, and the possibility of finding solutions to major social and environmental problems. However, such a powerful technology also raises some concerns, related for example to the black-box nature of some AI approaches, the possible discriminatory decisions that AI algorithms may recommend, the accountability and responsibility when an AI system is involved in an undesirable outcome, and the usage of data. Without adequate answers to these concerns, many will not trust AI, and therefore will not fully adopt it nor get its positive impact. In this talk I will present the main issues around AI ethics and describe some of the proposed solutions.


Keynote 2


Who: Sihem Amer-Yahia

When: September 18th h 9:00 – 9:30

Sihem is a CNRS Research Director. Her interests are at the intersection of large-scale data management and social data exploration. Sihem held positions at QCRI, Yahoo! Research and AT&T Labs. She served on the SIGMOD Executive Board and the VLDB Endowment. She is Editor-in-Chief of the VLDB Journal and associate editor of TDS. She served as PC chair for PVLDB 2018, WWW 2019 Workshops and SIGMOD 2020 Demonstrations.  Find more about her on



Abstract:  Human Factors in Data Science

Data Science (DS) has been mainly concerned with developing libraries and stacks to ingest data anc create value. Humans have been playing a major role in different layers of DS. This talk argues that the DS lifecycle can only be realized by looping in humans in an efficient and safe fashion. I will discuss how human factors affect algorithm design in DS. In particular, I will illustrate adaptive optimization to account for motivation, and algorithmic fairness on virtual marketplaces.


Keynote 3


Who: Donatella Sciuto

When: September 18th h 09:30 – 10:00

Donatella Sciuto received her Laurea in Electronic Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an MBA from Bocconi University. She is currently the Executive Vice Rector of the Politecnico di Milano and Full Professor in Computer Science and Engineering. She oversees International relations for Engineering, Research Strategies, ICT infrastructure and services, MOOCs and diversity inclusion. Her main research interests cover the methodologies for the design of embedded systems and multicore systems considering performance, power and security metrics. More recently she has been involved in managing research projects in the area of smart cities and in the application of new ICT technologies to different application fields. She has published over 300 scientific papers. She is a Fellow of IEEE (The world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology) for her contributions in embedded system design. She has served as Vice-President of Finance and then President of the IEEE Council of Electronic Design Automation from 2009 to 2013 and she serves in different capacities in IEEE Awards Committees, in scientific boards of IEEE journals and conferences. She is a Board member of the Bank of Italy, Human Technopole, Avio and Raiway.


Abstract: How STEM competences can support gender equality?

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are now widely supported subjects. Their promotion, especially towards young women, usually stands on economic grounds, as STEM studies are said to open many career paths, which are remunerative, significant and pervasive in all sectors. What is not said, at least not so often as it should, is that STEM competences open also a wealth of opportunities to have impact on many other grounds, even those more commonly related to humanities subjects. In fact, tech-girls can greatly help themselves working to support with data- driven studies the promotion of gender equality, diversity and inclusion. In this talk, we will present some examples that show how gender equality can be measured objectively through quantitative cost functions based on data gathered from companies or individuals, how gender neutrality or discrimination can be automatically found in text and images through machine-learning techniques, and how the bias in the algorithms themselves can be evaluated to try to ensure fair (automatic) learning processes.


Keynote 4


Who: Danielle (Sparky) VanDyke

When: September 18th h 17:00 – 17:30

Danielle has been at Google for 13 years, both in the Mountain View, California headquarters and in London, UK. In her current role as a Software Reliability Engineering manager, she leads teams working on the infrastructure & tooling to make Google’s mobile applications stronger, faster, and more reliable.

Over the years at Google, she has been on more than 10 different teams in various roles including manager, team lead, software developer, and quality assurance engineer. She has worked with several engineer teams that joined Google through an acquisition, as well guided a couple of teams through relocation or shutdown.


Abstract: Cyber citizens: do we have to sacrifice digital inclusion for convenience?

Our lives have gone digital. We do everything from shopping to learning to socializing online, information and media are increasingly available on demand, and high-tech brands plan for a new world that is always connected with wearables, implantables, and sensors everywhere. But a true digital revolution requires more than developing new technology or great products; we must also build a digital future where everyone can participate. As the most tech-savvy citizens, we can hold our governments and tech companies responsible for Digital Inclusion