Cees Snoek

University of Amsterdam

Title:Unseen Video Understanding

Progress in video understanding has been astonishing in the past decade. Classifying actions, tracking objects and even segmenting actor instances at the pixel level is now common place, thanks to label-supervised machine learning. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that label-supervised knowledge transfer is expensive to obtain and scale, especially as the need for spatiotemporal detail and compositional semantic specification in long video sequences increases. In this tutorial we will discuss alternatives to label-supervision, using semantics, language, ontologies, physics and time as the primary knowledge sources for various video understanding challenges. Despite being less example-dependent, the proposed algorithmic solutions are naturally embedded in modern (self-)-learned representations and lead to state-of-the-art unseen video recognition and retrieval.


Cees Snoek is a full professor in computer science at the University of Amsterdam, where he heads the Intelligent Sensory Information Systems Lab. He is also a director of three public-private AI-research labs: QUVA Lab with Qualcomm, Atlas Lab with TomTom and AIM Lab with the Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence. At University spin-off Kepler Vision Technologies he acts as Chief Scientific Officer. He is also the director of the master program in Artificial Intelligence and co-founder of the Netherlands Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence. He was previously visiting scientist at Carnegie Mellon University and UC Berkeley, head of R&D at University spin-off Euvision Technologies and managing principal engineer at Qualcomm Research Europe. His research interests focus on video and image sensing. He has published over 200 refereed journal and conference papers, has been on the editorial board of several international journals and frequently serves as an area chair of the major conferences in computer vision and multimedia. Professor Snoek is the lead researcher of the award-winning MediaMill Semantic Video Search Engine, which was the most consistent top performer in the yearly NIST TRECVID evaluations for over a decade. He was general chair of ACM Multimedia 2016 in Amsterdam and initiator of the VideOlympics. Cees is recipient of an NWO Veni career award, a Fulbright Junior Scholarship, an NWO Vidi career award, and the Netherlands Prize for ICT Research. Together with his Ph.D. students and Post-docs he has won several best paper awards.