Johan Hoorn

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+31 20 59 83810
faculteit der sociale wetensch ( afdeling communicatiewetenschap )
Associate professor
Johan Hoorn is a researcher and developer of social robotics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He develops artificial intelligence, but also looks at the impact of robots on the user. This was recorded in a by now worldwide known documentary Alice cares, where three old women are visited by a friendly care robot, with major consequences for all concerned. For this documentary, he won with his group the Eureka Prize of the national science council (NWO/KNAW) for the best that happened that year in the Netherlands to make science accessible to the public at large. In Paris, the film won the international Prix Grand Écran for best scientific documentary.


Johan Hoorn also does many radio and television appearances, including in Belgium, Germany, and Denmark. He is a frequent speaker on (inter)national congresses and meetings of knowledge and health institutions and industry, but also in debate centers like De Balie. He performed at RTL Late Night, Time for Max, and was sampled in De Wereld Draait Door. Newspaper and magazine articles about his work appeared in Vrij Nederland, NRC Handelsblad, AD, Trouw, Het Parool. One of his robot-care concepts has been exhibited in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen for modern art, Rotterdam. 

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Central themes of research are creativity and virtuality (recorded in three books) in communicative technologies such as virtual characters, emotionally intelligent systems, conversational and social robots. His work was awarded a Burgen Scholarship of the Academia Europaea for “excellent academic achievement,” and he received a Lorentz Fellowship of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) to write an integrative theory of creativity.

Important links

Ancillary activities

Open the Oyster VOF; Mignon Lab - Event and workshop organization; pre-inventive innovations Amsterdam, 29 februari 2016
ROBOpop Foundation - Board member Amsterdam, 02 mei 2016
Last changes Ancillary activities: Amsterdam 27 januari 2017