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European Centre for Algorithmic Transparency

Alberto Pena Fernández

Head of Unit

About my professional life, back in the 80s, I dove into IT engineering in Valladolid, Spain. When speaking about digital evolution and technology, those days feel like the era of dinosaurs now! I have witnessed start-ups turning into BigTechs, other classic "hardware" trying to survive, and lately the rise of Artificial Intelligence (which, let's face it, has been around since Alan Turing dropped that paper in 1950).

With some 34 years navigating the ICT landscape in Spain and Belgium, much of it at the European Commission. I arrived at the time Jacques Delors was finishing his mandate. Briefly, I have been under seven different European Commission presidents (Jacques Delors, Jacques Santer, Manuel Marín –even if temporary-, Romano Prodi, José Manuel Barroso, Jean-Claude Junker and now Ursula Von der Leyen).

After all these years, my son described me once as the “one who can let me play with his tablet” while others as the human side of ICT. Either way, we live in a digital world, but we are fairly analogue creatures

After a short academic polishing at London Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, I am now steering the ship in the "Algorithmic Transparency" unit (aka ECAT) at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. We deal with the scientific side to A.I. and algorithms transparency supporting EU legislation like the DSA or the future AI act.

I leave the personal level for coffee breaks; but in just one line, I did some brief radio experience in Brussels at Radio SI, 109.1 FM. I love globetrotting, music, photography, basketball, animated cartoons, and sharing it with my awesome family!

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