Luc Steels is considered a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence & has made important contributions to expert systems, behaviour-based robotics (a term which he coined), artificial life & evolutionary linguistics. He is director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel & founded the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris. He was a visiting researcher at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.

Osacar Vilarroya has made contributions in four different areas: theoretical neurobiology, neuro-imaging, scientific networking/popularization & creative arts. He is associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit (URNC), director of the “Social Brain” Chair at the UAB, as well as coordinator of the Neuroimaging Research Group (NRG) at the Fundació IMIM.


What would happen if artificial intelligence would become even more real? It’s the question that made Luc & Oscar bring their academic insights to the world of opera. They wrote the music & the Libretto to the AI infused opera Fausto, a performance that - although stuffed with digital references - will not feature techno or digital bleeps, but classical music. Both experts succeed in delivering an enthusiastic & contemporary take on a difficult theme. & with the help of La Folia & Kris Stroobants’ Frascati, the choir & the chamber orchestra are from the city of Leuven itself. 

Can humans reach digital immortality & can AI-systems achieve human mortality? Luc & Oscar will not only provide you with possible answers in their keynote, they will also perform their Faust Opera that dwells on these questions.

Luc Steels: The Robot Culture - TED talk