Using AI and Big Data to Fight Pandemics - Now and in the Future 


Wednesday, May 13, 2020
12:00PM - 1:00PM PDT
9:00PM - 10:00PM CEST

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(Event URL will be emailed to registered participants)


John Robins, EIT Digital

AI and big data are aiding the fight against COVID-19 in multiple ways, such as identifying and tracking outbreaks, diagnosing the virus, developing vaccines, calculating disease models to shape national shutdowns and policies, surveillance and contact tracing, facial recognition and fever detection, and sterilization and delivery of food and supplies.

Our expert online debate will discuss pressing questions, such as:

  • What relevant breakthrough efforts in the AI and big data space are already underway?
  • What has worked and what hasn’t worked in the fight against COVID-19?
  • Where should the technology community accelerate their innovation activities and investments in?
  • Should privacy protections be put aside in a time of crisis?
  • How do you mitigate risks and engage in responsible development and use of AI in emergencies like COVID-19?
  • What are some of the practical ways to ensure that the solutions that are getting created are truly benefiting all, including some of the most marginalized communities around the world?



Peter Fatelnig
Minister-Counsellor for Digital Economy Policy, Delegation of the EU to the US
Washington DC

Peter Fatelnig is Minister-Counsellor for digital economy policies at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States since March 2018. Peter’s long experience in the digital tech sector, notably in building industrial innovation strategies, helped the EU to drive forward internet innovation policies. A senior manager at the European Commission since 1998 he is committed to a positive European vision of the future internet society and economy. Before coming to Washington he managed the team leading Europe's new Internet policy and investment initiative (flagship on 'Next Generation Internet'). Prior to the EU he worked on international assignments for the strategy consulting firm American Management Systems, and for the European Space Agency, in the Netherlands. Peter holds a Master degree in Communication Engineering from the University of Technology in Graz, Austria, and is a senior member of the IEEE.

Chahab Nastar
Chief Innovation Officer, EIT Digital

Chahab Nastar has over 20 years of experience as an academic, an entrepreneur, and a large company executive. He started his career as a tenured research scientist. He then founded a computer vision company and successfully grew and sold it. He then spent several years as VP of Advanced Development at SAP, before joining EIT Digital in 2014. Chahab has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and is a former fellow of the MIT Media Lab.


Gry Hasselbalch
Co-founder of &
Member of the European Commission’s High-Level Group on AI

Gry Hasselbalch is the co-founder of the ThinkDoTank Hasselbalch is also a member of the European Commission's High-Level Group on AI, which is working to develop ethics and policy guidelines for AI in Europe; is co-chair of the P7006 standard within the IEEE's Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in AI and Autonomous Systems; and was a member of the Danish Expert Group on Data Ethics that was appointed to provide the Danish government with recommendations on data ethics issues in 2018. Hasselbalch co-authored the book Data Ethics – The New Competitive Advantage (2016). She is also a Ph.D. fellow at the University of Copenhagen with a focus on data ethics in European policy and industry development.


Andra Keay
Managing Director, Silicon Valley Robotics & Visiting Scholar, People and Robots CITRIS
San Francisco

Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, the non-profit industry group supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. Andra is an experienced futurist and also founder of the Robot Launch global startup competition, Robot Garden maker space, Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI. She is also a Visiting Scholar with the UC’s CITRIS People and Robots Research Group. Andra was a recent speaker at TEDx on Robots vs Humans.

Luigi Congedo
Principal, BootstrapLabs
San Francisco

Luigi Congedo is a Principal at BootstrapLabs, a leading Venture Capital firm based in Silicon Valley and focused on Applied Artificial Intelligence. Luigi is responsible for deal-flow, investments, business development, and is actively involved in advising the founders from their portfolio companies. He is leading the organization of the annual Applied AI Conference bringing together over 800 AI leaders and is a frequent speaker and mentor at different startup programs and events. Prior to BootstrapLabs, Luigi worked at Samsung, AngelHack and RadiumOne among other projects contributing to the international development and new market expansions. He also launched a pharmaceutical e-commerce company in Italy, In 2018 he was selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 leader on the prestigious annual list of young visionaries and the leaders of tomorrow. 




Leila Toplic
Lead for Emerging Technologies Initiative, NetHope

Leila Toplic leads Emerging Technologies Initiative at NetHope, a nonprofit technology consortium of 57 global nonprofits. Emerging Technologies Initiative is focused on growing NGO’s expertise and capacity to develop and use emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain in the humanitarian, development, and environmental work. Leila also advises UN agencies and technology companies in education, ethics, and responsible innovation. Prior to NetHope, Leila spent 16 years in leadership roles in tech sector (at Microsoft and Adobe) and at social enterprise startups.