My name is Benjamin Timmermans, and I am a researcher at the IBM Center for Advanced Studies Benelux. I am affiliated as a guest researcher with the Web & Media Group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Web Information Systems group at the TU Delft. In the past I have worked on the CrowdTruth project in a collaboration with IBM Research New York and the Vrije Universiteit, lead by Lora Aroyo and Chris Welty. My research involves the crowdsourcing of ground truth data for the training and evaluation of cognitive computing systems such as IBM Watson, specifically on the harnessing of disagreement in interpretations of texts, images, sounds and videos. Using this work I am writing a PhD dissertation, which should contribute to the further developments of artificial intelligence.
My work is strongly connected to the academic world and students. At IBM I teach the Watson Innovation master course as part of the collaborative innovation between IBM and the Vrije Universiteit. The course was awarded the “ICT-Project of the year in education” in 2016. Furthermore, I supervise several student projects where we drive innovation to clients. In the past I was also the study advisor for international computer science students at the Vrije Universiteit.