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PODCAST: Prof. Mannens & De Ketelaere Discuss the Impact of AI on Businesses

For the first edition of our Business of Collaboration podcast, we interviewed Prof. Erik Mannens, who specialized in data science at Ghent University, and Mieke De Ketelaere, Director of Consumer Intelligence at the SAS Institute. We will talk about innovation, AI, how and why to work together, business, and life.

Mieke is a strong woman in tech and a business executive and is interested in AI, human computation, big data, and scouts. Her interests prove a good match with Erik, a professor who researches AI, mixes art and science, and loves outdoor activities.

We recorded in the city of Gent, Belgium, in the Krook building. It is a place for collaboration between companies and researchers at Ghent University.

PODCAST with Prof. Mannens & De Ketelaere
Business of Collaboration Podcast


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In this section, we want to highlight the main lessons from our podcast conversations and create a snapshot of our interesting conversations with bright minds by writing key points and categories.


  • We are living in the dawn of AI; current AI is narrow AI because solutions are very specific
  • AI will not only be about algorithms but how to interact with them
  • The future of AI: it will be an integral part of our lives
  • Bottlenecks for AI are technological, such as batteries and data management
  • First define what your current problem is and see if AI can help you
  • Start small with a project goal


  • It has to be a win-win project
  • It’s about continuous learning
  • Bring young students to the companies
  • Business doesn’t have the time, and academics can bring time and knowledge
  • Keep good relationships with your collaboration partners
  • It needs to be evangelized throughout the company that sharing and transferring knowledge with academics and professors is important


  • Read a lot to be ahead of the market
  • Get knowledge through one-on-one conversations
  • Follow Twitter profiles and hashtags, click around, and get information
  • Subscribe to newsletters on AI and Big Data
  • Prioritize one-on-one conversations, not conferences
  • Attend conferences to network
  • A major source of knowledge is to sit on PhD communities and review their presentations
  • Have a big network
  • Work more than 70h per week


  • Empathy
  • Adaptable
  • Understand each other’s needs
  • Work as a team in tense situations
  • Share work, knowledge, experience and responsibilities


  • Walk
  • Outdoor activities
  • Nature, nature, nature
  • Sports
  • Reading
  • Classical music
  • Sunshine
  • Have a moment
  • Be aware of myself and me time
  • Get a peaceful moment before starting the day

Prof. Dr. Erik Mannens
Professor Data Science at Ghent University, Belgium
Director research valorization at IMEC
Research manager, IDLab
Advisory committee Representative W3C

Read a personal interview here with Prof. Erik Mannens, and his Golden Rules for Living here.

Mieke De Ketelaere
Director Consumer Intelligence at SAS Institute
Advisor on Digital Transformation & Artificial Intelligence
Guest lecture at Vlerick Business School, ISDI and Nyenrode Business University
Nominee fir ICT Woman of the Year 2018

Read a personal interview with Mieke here and her Golden Rules for Living here.

You can find our Business of Collaboration podcast series on Stitcher and on iTunes.