Thomas Kallstenius, LIST



Chief Executive Officer of Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

Dr. Thomas Kallstenius has been Chief Executive Officer at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology since 1 February 2019.

Prior to this, he was program director for the Belgian research institute imec’s research & innovation program related to security and privacy. He was also in charge of imec’s strategic orientation of distributed artificial intelligence and high-performance computing. This strategy was preceded by imec’s vertical market strategy, which Thomas was also in charge of.

Before joining imec, Thomas was vice president for research and innovation at iMinds, the research institute that merged with imec in 2016. His responsibilities in this role included iMinds’ strategic and applied research programs with academic and industrial partners.

Thomas has more than 15 years of experience with industrial research and strategic marketing. He worked as a director at Bell Labs on video communication related topics, and prior to this, he was strategic marketing director at Alcatel-Lucent, responsible for its fixed access portfolio. He has also been a researcher on broadband access within Ericsson Research, and on reliability of semiconductor components within Ericsson Microelectronics.


Thomas holds a Masters Degree in Engineering Physics from the Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden), a PhD in semiconductor materials science from Uppsala University (Uppsala, Sweden) and an MBA from Vlerick Management School (Leuven, Belgium). He has served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the FTTH Council Europe, and as vice-chair of the Working Group on Wearables in the European Commission’s Alliance of Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI).

Tell us about your first encounter with artificial intelligence (AI)?

At University, during my master studies in physics.

What is your competence within the field of AI? 

Coming from hardware, my main competence is in neuromorphic computing and security aspects of AI.

Why did you develop an interest in AI?

AI opens up a new solution space for computing.

Can you recommend a relevant book or film about AI?

  • Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, by Jerry Kaplan

  • Life 3.0, by Max Tegmark

Why should we, or should we not, be afraid of AI?

Technology is not good or bad per se.


Which field, in your opinion, has the most to benefit from AI – and why? 

Pattern recognition in general, e.g., image analysis. Artificial general intelligence and neuromorphic computing (intelligence on the edge) may change this.


How should the use of AI develop in the future?

We should use AI together with human experts. This is why visual analytics is so important: Our eyes is the best interface we have towards AI.


Why should participants tune in during AI+?

To learn how AI is used for the national digital twin in Luxembourg.

Thomas Kallstenius  is a speaker at the AI+ virtual conference 2020.