Societal Impact of AI (AiPact)

Augmented humanity and society with artificial intelligence
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Whether it's grocery shopping or dating, managing our work life, or streaming a show on Netflix—artificial intelligence (AI) has changed our daily lives tremendously, both on a personal and professional level. What does this mean, for individual citizens and society as a whole? What can we expect in the future and how can we use the potential of AI while keeping risks to a minimum?

This Erasmus Initiative aims for innovative and interdisciplinary research and education in AI that places people and society centre stage. Together with key stakeholders we set the expectations for implementations of AI benefiting society. Through setting the expectations we seek to engage the public with the rapidly evolving integration of AI in society.

We focus on four key domains of our society, tackling cross-cutting hot topics such as urban AI, AI street art, sustainability, equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion.



AICON is the AiPact initiative’s interdisciplinary project, connecting citizens, artists and researchers in an exploration of the social-beneficial potential and challenges of AI. This collaborative project focuses on empowering communities, allowing them to discover what defines their environment and how they engage with the world.

It revolves around co-creation and takes into consideration cross-disciplinary concepts that do not fit within traditional databases. Ultimately the hope is that this will contribute to democratizing AI, making it understandable and accessible to communities while promoting an alternative way to collaborate and urging to re-examine the values which define a society and its citizens.

  • Social media – follow AICON on Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Videos - watch the AICON short video triology Connection, ImaginationMovement
  • Infographic – get a grasp of what AICON is all about
  • Gallery – visit the virtual exhibition of the AICON project Stadsgezichten (Portraits of the City) in the Metaverse on Muse
  • Open Sea – view and purchase the NFTs made with the AICON Stadsgezichten project.
  • Ronnies op Zuid Podcast - listen to AICON artist Peim van der Sloot and Rotterdam citizen and Albeda student Harun Senih Sevinc who talk about Artificial Intelligence (in Dutch)
  • Ronnies op Zuid Podcast – listen to Farshida Zafar (ErasmusX) and Sarina van la Parra (Chance to Influence) who talk about AICON (in Dutch)
  • AiPact Medium Blog – read this post by Moniek Buijzen on why we need art to cocreate the Societal Impact of AI
  • ErasmusX Medium Blog – read this post by Costanza Tagliaferri on her experiences at the HefHouse and AICON
  • AICON home – read more about AICON, the Hefhouse, and radical education innovation at the ErasmusX homepage

AI in arts and culture

The use of Artificial Intelligence promises a transition to open and inclusive arts and sciences practices. The leading question in this programme line is how the use of Artificial Intelligence in art can create new opportunities for individuals, organisations, and systems to unlock their full potential with Artificial Intelligence.


We consider AI in arts and culture as an object of study as well as a living lab to foster creativity, engagement, and sympathy – all necessary to set the expectations for AI to benefit people and society.

AI in communication and change

The use of Artificial Intelligence in media and communication promises unprecedented opportunities for social and behavioural change. Our leading question is how the benefits of digital media technology can be used optimally, while keeping potential risks at a minimum. We focus on strategic and popular communication.


We investigate how ‘cognitive communication’ can contribute to a healthy, fulfilling, and sustainable lifestyle and living environment. We consider AI as an object of study, as well as a tool for innovative research, education, and societal impact.

Health AI future

AI in healthcare policy and management

The use of AI in health promises the transition to a sustainable, empowered, and inclusive health system. Our research and teaching investigate the transition of healthcare with AI from a societal perspective. This programme line takes a reflective rather than an instrumental approach.


We reflect on what is means to shift patient journeys and provider reward systems from managing the bad (disease) to managing the good (health).

On the meso-level we reflect on what development of integrated public health that can provide personalised prevention entails. On the micro-level we reflect on how healthcare professionals develop new skills and new roles.


AI in work and labour

AI-based solutions are gaining importance in organisational life, dramatically changing work practices and relationships. On the macro-level this means, for example, data-driven decision making and services, while on the micro level, automation could enhance workplace safety. This thematic line takes a human-centred approach.


We focus on the opportunities of close collaboration between humans and machines while mitigating the challenges.

Our research and teaching will investigate new ways of organizing and new work practices that can enhance the safety and well-being of all employees. As such, this programme line aims to contribute to an inclusive future of work.


We focus on ensuring human augmentation with AI – AI that works in a manner consistent with the expectations of individual citizens and society. We embrace a multidisciplinary and multimethod approach, including data science, citizen science and living labs. Moreover, we create new opportunities for citizens, students, scholars, and organisations to unlock their full potential with AI as co-worker and trusted advisor.

Artificial intelligence in education

Erasmus University Rotterdam has a lot of programmes and courses about AI.

Lachende studenten tijdens college


In our #AICON impact project citizens, artists, scholars, and students cocreate AI artworks.

AiPact Blog

In our AiPact Blog we share our research and perspectives about the societal impact in AI.


The Erasmus Initiative ‘Societal Impact of AI’ (AiPact) is embedded in the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics (ECDA). We are building structural collaborations with Erasmus MC, TU Delft and the city of Rotterdam, for example, by linking to the initiatives Centre for Bold Cities, Cultuurcampus Rotterdam, Resilient Delta, Healthy Start, and Convergence for Health and Technology.

Follow us!

Follow the Erasmus AiPact LinkedIn and the events calendar for the latest updates on AI and society!

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