Keynote Speaker

“Needs and Tools for Artificial Intelligence in 21st Century Society”
Professor Piet Kommers, UNESCO Professor of Learning Technologies, The Netherlands


The Covid-19 era unexpectedly made all sectors dependent from remote communication, virtual- and vicarious learning.

This lecture is based upon the new book: “Sources for a Better Education: Lessons from Research and Best Practices”.

It signals parallels in society, technology, and demonstrates the risk for biased information; not just lacking knowledge or naïve misconceptions. Starting from abundant information access we now see tempting options for learners to restructure and even reconceive existing information. From the perspective of cognitive growth, the last four decades let learners ‘re-construct meaning’ to stimulate highly individualized understanding: Simulations, modelling, concept mapping, and lately the cultivation of storytelling; they have been promoted as an extra to just absorbing new knowledge. So far, education still underestimated the flip side of constructivist learning practices: Critical thinking seemed to be a good candidate for a more active learning attitude; It may create more authentic students who build upon existential drive: “What do I need to ‘make a difference’ in life. Problem- and challenge-based learning are the keywords. The book appetizer “Sources for a better Education” exposes the landscape of learning theories and how teachers can benefit from the larger spectrum of A.I. tools: big data, data mining, deep learning, machine learning, learning analytics and multi-variate inductive reasoning? This lecture will guide you to the main questions: What didactic measures allow teachers to make students resilient to fake news? What scenarios for thematic- rather than mono-disciplinary courses need to be developed? For instance, in the attempts to implement and disseminate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics)? What social media mechanisms lead to web-based communities? And: What are valid ways to assess the quality of learning outcomes? I hope to meet you and your counter questions imaginary Lisbon.



Piet Kommers started as teacher and built his own computers in the mid seventies.
When computers penetrated schools his interest became on how to support learners in their metacognitive development. He designed systems for learners and teachers to express conceptual structures based upon their prior knowledge. His research showed the typical advantage of students with a weaker short term memory; they rely more on prior knowledge and its interconnectedness. In this way they build more integrated structures which helps in creative problem solving. His recent book ‘Sources for a better Education’ targets the step from the initial- into the more sophisticated teacher; what next ambitions can be taken and what does it bring for 21st century citizens? Piet Kommers received the title of UNESCO Professor of Learning Technologies and recently undertook the mission on how to tune education to learners with autistic spectrum disorder in order to diminish their distance to the labour market. In his keynote for IADIS he will focus on how A.I. can make make students more resiliant against biased information, fake news and conspirancy theories.