CWI researchers involved in 2 consortia receiving millions in funding

Several CWI researchers are involved in projects that have received substantial funding under the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA). The Human-Centered Data Analytics group is represented in a project, led by Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, which aims to access, link and analyze large-scale digital heritage collections in context. And the Evolutionary Intelligence group is involved in a consortium led by the Netherlands Cancer Institute that uses artificial intelligence to prevent overtreatment of a possible preliminary stage of breast cancer.

Publication date
11 Jul 2023

A total of 19 projects have received funding in the fourth round of the Dutch Research Agenda programme Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC). This programme is meant for projects that focus on questions from society that form the substantive agenda of the NWA. The consortia contain a wide representation of different research disciplines, knowledge institutions, public sectors and industry.

Harmless or harzardous?

CWI researchers participate in two of the awarded projects. The first one is DIRECT-DCIS: Dynamic Integrative Risk forEcasting to Conquer overTreatment of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. This consortium received 9.4 million euros. The Evolutionary Intelligence group has 2 PhD’s and a programmer in this project, led by the Netherlands Cancer Institute.

In the Netherlands, 2300 women annually face a diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) and can progress to breast cancer. However, the majority never will. As harmless and hazardous DCIS cannot be distinguished yet, all women get intensive treatment. So, many women carry the burden of overtreatment without any benefit. To reduce this overtreatment, highly innovative, integrative artificial intelligence will be developed, inspired by how weather forecasting is improving over time. This dynamic DCIS-risk forecasting will prevent needless treatment for women with harmless DCIS, preserve their quality of life, and save €15 million a year health care costs.

AI and cultural heritage

In the HAICu project, a huge group of AI researchers, Digital Humanities researchers, heritage professionals and engaged citizens work together on scientific breakthroughs to open, link and analyze large-scale multimodal digital heritage collections in context. The exceptional challenges of cultural heritage present a unique opportunity to push the boundaries of artificial intelligence. Future techniques must be able to be used outside the laboratory, learn from as few examples as possible and continuously learn from users. This fundamentally takes into account current societal demands for responsible, explainable methods for constructing multimodal narratives about our cultural heritage which reach beyond current large language models.

The consortium, led by Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, was awarded 10.3 million euros. An oio (researcher in training) and a postdoc from our Human-Centered Data Analytics group will be working on this project, alongside people from numerous organizations. HCDA will tackle bias, transparancy and polyvocality (the presence of multiple voices/opinions).