Career history

Trained in AI

In 2007, Olaf Witkowski received my MSc in Civil Engineering and Artificial Intelligence from the University of Louvain. My MSc thesis used machine learning to decode the language in ancient Inca artifacts, collaborating with the Khipu Research Group at MIT.


Web Entrepreneurship

From 2007 to 2011, he became a Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer at the Web company Commentag LLC. He designed the first semantic search engine for Twitter and launched Tweetag.com, later to become Storify.com. He kept working on consulting projects in data mining and deep learning between the UK and Japan until early 2016. From 2007 to 2008, he was also a Lecturer at the Louvain School of Management, and undertook studies in Natural Language Processing.


PhD in Artificial Life

In 2015, he received my PhD in Computer Science, from the University of Tokyo. My doctoral research at the Ikegami Lab, from 2011 to 2015, revealed new dynamics in the emergence of communication as a way to increase collective intelligence in groups of living organisms, employing large distributed simulations, neural networks, game theory and information theory.


Researcher in Collective Intelligence

In 2015, he became a Postdoctoral Researcher at the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Tokyo.
In 2016, he became an EON Postdoctoral Fellow at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at TokyoTech, and a Visiting Member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

He is a Co-Founding Member of YHouse­ Inc. ­— a nonprofit transdisciplinary research institute focused on the study of awareness, artificial intelligence and complex systems.
He is on the Organizing Committee (as one of the two Program Chairs) the ALIFE 2018 conference in Tokyo. He is also an advisor for ALife Lab, a platform between Artificial Life scientists and those other domains such as art, design and technology.

His current scientific research aims to uncover the fundamental principles of life through a formal study of communication and learning, using information theory and artificial life simulations.