Fontys School of ICT hostess VPRO-debate The Mind Live

Fontys Information and Communication Technology

Fontys School of ICT hostess for VPRO-debate The Mind Live 16 June 2017

On Friday 16 June the debate “The Mind Live” took place in the canteen of P5, dealing with the merging of humans and machines. Fontys School of ICT was the hostess of the evening. According to BRON, this comes as no surprise: “Fontys School of ICT is working at the cutting edge of human-computer interaction.” The debate was organised together with the VPRO, VPRO Medialab and the KNAW. Visitors got the opportunity to get acquainted with ICT at the Technology-market both before and after the debate. The market consisted of various stands at which both employees and students of Fontys School of ICT provided visitors with a true ICT-experience by letting them experience the newest techniques in ICT for themselves.

Human-machine merging
The subject of the evening was the merging between humans and machines. Humans and machines deal with problems in different ways and could reinforce each other. Machines are better able to deal with certain problems, but only humans have a free will. Is that a problem? And what is reality? We discover our world and create our own rules through playing. We create our own reality. But then what is reality? Is it something we believe in ourselves? Three renowned scientists entered into a debate on these matters: Carolina Cruz, Catholijn Jonker and Servaas Kokkelmans (replacement for Julia Kramer). Cruz came to the Fontys Eindhoven campus all the way from the USA together with her family (husband, child and parents). An interpreter helped her to understand the hostess, her discussion partners and the audience. Cruz has been interested in VR (Virtual Reality) ever since she was a kid. She was the maker of The Cave, among other things. There is video clip showing how her son currently is also discovering the world with VR. Just like her parents. “My parents are so adorable with the glasses on, they are afraid to move. My child surprises me every day with new aspects,” says Cruz. But how does it affect you, growing up with VR? Catholijn Jonker thinks machines make us feel more human. “Making decisions is a perfect example: machines are far better at this than humans. We could use computers to help us in decision-making."

Technology-market: from virtual bicycling to VR demos
The Technology-market was a success: everybody made a journey into the world of ICT. Quite the experience for visitors who had never looked at the world through VR-glasses/AR-glasses. There was a total of eight groups consisting of both students and employees of FHICT that presented the newest technologies to the visitors. Student Thom van de Moosdijk is enthusiastic about a project they're doing for A.R. Industries. This company specialises in building oil rigs. They're currently working on a project aimed at making the process of placing an oil rig more efficient using AR (Augmented Reality). They focus on the placement process. “Simply put it comes down to placing a big box on top of a pole. That pole is securely anchored to the bottom of the ocean. At present the process requires 10 people. If we use AR, we could do it in a simple, fast and visual way. That way you'd need less people,” says van de Moosdijk. The visitor can personally experience all this at the market by putting on AR-glasses. Various sensors create a visualisation of the location of the large box and the pole on the HoloLens. In the meantime Ad Vissers, Chairman of Fontys School of ICT, is taking a virtual bike trip at the Virtual-Cycling stand. “The idea is to deliver packages by bike,” students Bob van Velzen and Richard Janssen tell us. It is made for entertainment, a game. They developed the game for a company called Embedded Fitness, partner of the study group Interaction Design. The perfect opportunity for the students to test their concept with the very diverse audience here and to offer the visitors a true virtual experience.

The Mind of the Universe
The debate is linked to the VPRO-science show The Mind of the Universe, in which Carolina Cruz features in the starring role in episode 8. In The mind of the universe top scientists of our time paint a picture of the future. They take you on a trip into the future, crossing the very boundaries of their own professional fields. The series airs every week on Sunday at NPO 2 at 21:05. Robbert Dijkgraaf is your host. Go to

Photo: Arjan Hansort 


Tags: In the Media