Driven by a passion for technological innovation, Hani Al-Ers is committed to improving lives at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. In this edition of SpotlAIght, he shares his views on developments in the field of AI and its impact, both within and beyond The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

In a nutshell: Improving lives with technology
Role: Lecturer and Senior Researcher
Involved in: The IT & Design faculty, the HBO-ICT program, the minor Research and Scientific Writing, and the Data Science Research Group


ALERS: an adaptive learning environment using the API of Chat GPT

Smart Teddy: an artificial pet using AI to help seniors live at home longer

DATA Local Energy Systems: A data driven stock exchange for trading energy within a community

Gold rush

"We are in the middle of a kind of ‘gold rush’ of artificial intelligence, with new AI tools emerging every few minutes. The AI war is in full swing, with all the major players presenting their best solutions. OpenAI seems to be leading the way for now, but this can change at any time. We are doing our best to keep up, trying to understand how to use AI in our educational programs and to prepare our students for a world in which AI plays an important role."

Leveraging big data

“Over the last decade in the field of ICT, working with (big) data has become an essential skill. Companies collect huge amounts of data using sensors and smart devices. They hope to exploit this data to gain a competitive advantage, sometimes without a clear vision of how or why. So far, we have been training our students to guide these companies and provide them with insights on using data to help both the companies and their customers. Now, generative AI and its vast applications is the new frontier we need to navigate.”

"Students who depend on AI without a clear understanding tend to underperform"

AI is not a magic wand

"It's vital for students to familiarize themselves with the array of AI tools available and understand their functionalities. Learning to utilize these tools efficiently in their respective fields can significantly enhance their productivity and quality of work. However, it is vital for our students to know how to evaluate the quality of the AI-generated outcomes and refine them when needed. They themselves are responsible of the quality of the product they deliver and not the AI.

Observations indicate that students who depend on AI without a clear understanding tend to underperform. On the other hand, those who apply AI thoughtfully often exceed expectations. AI, while not a magic bullet, serves as a potent instrument that can yield substantial benefits when used properly. Teaching students how to harness AI effectively is our objective, ensuring they can integrate these tools seamlessly into their academic and professional pursuits."


"My research manager (head of the Data Science research group) Prof. Lampros Stergioulas holds the UNESCO Chair on 'Artificial Intelligence and Data Science for Society’ for the EU. He helped draft UNESCO policy documents on language models. Driven by the UNESCO agenda and their attention to generative AI, we are investigating many different aspects of policy, security, functionality, and acceptance of language models. I have just returned from Berlin where I published an article about how language models can grade open question exams at the Future of Information and Communication Conference (FICC2024)."

Adapting to preferred learning styles

"We are also working on an Adaptive Learning Environment Research System (ALERS). This system can help students understand complex topics and adapts to their preferred learning style. It can teach them in their native language. It can give long detailed answers if desired or keep things short and to the point. The system is available 24/7 to answer any questions the student has immediately. It will never get frustrated or turn a student away. It will never get tired. It wil never take a break. It will keep trying to explain a topic to the student in different ways as long as the student is interested in learning it.”

Era of language models

Furthermore, my research focuses on how educators can align their teaching strategies with the capabilities of language models. It's essential to recognize the presence and influence of these models. Teaching our students how to utilise these tools in their work effectively will prepare them for a future where their rivals on the job market will likely rely on language models. Our goal is to equip teachers with comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for modernizing their syllabi to reflect the advancements in language model technology. We're also engaging in research projects with students to gain insights into their interactions with language models and explore ways to enhance their experiences. The findings from these studies have been submitted for consideration at international conferences. We are ahead of many other universities in this area. For example, I had the opportunity to share the latest in AI developments at The Hague University of Applied Sciences as a model to follow during the EFMD Bachelor Programmes Conference in Budapest.

Ongoing training in AI

Developments in applied AI are advancing at such a rapid pace that staying ahead of trends poses a significant challenge. Every week brings new tools or updates for language models, transforming their capabilities overnight. One day, these models struggled with mathematical concepts, and the next, they're adept at conducting complex statistical analyses autonomously. Our university, along with many others, has moved beyond the initial phase of denial and skepticism and is now actively engaging with the AI revolution. It's imperative to revisit foundational principles to understand how to best educate our students in an AI-driven world. Creating new guidelines is crucial for enabling teachers to update their instructional materials and leverage AI tools effectively. Additionally, both staff and students require continuous training in AI to navigate this evolving landscape successfully.

Read more

In the SpotlAIght column, The Hague University of Applied Sciences' AI experts share their insights on AI. They talk about their work and share their vision of the future. Read previous articles in the series:

Stay informed and share your story!

Are you curious about the latest developments in the field of AI at The Hague University of Applied Sciences? Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates. If you have stories to share, feel free to reach out to Jered Vroon at

We look forward to hearing from you!