Abdallah El Ali

Hi! My name is Abdallah (or Abdo for short). I am a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher with a background in Cognitive Science.

Currently: I am a (tenured) research scientist at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), within the Distributed & Interactive Systems (DIS) group. I lead the research area on Affective Interactive Systems (AIS). I am also affiliated with the AI, Media, and Democracy Lab, where I lead Human-AI Interaction research focusing on AI transparency in media. I am also part of the executive board for CHI Nederland (CHI NL), the local Dutch SIGCHI chapter which we reinstated in August, 2020.

Previously: I did my Postdoc at the HCI Oldenburg lab, part of the Media Informatics and Multimedia Systems group at the University of Oldenburg / OFFIS (Germany). I received my PhD in Computer Science from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), working at the (former) Information and Language Processing Systems (ILPS) group.


  • Affective Interactive Systems: I combine advances in sensing and actuator technologies, eXtended Reality and Artificial Intelligence to measure, infer, and augment human cognitive, affective, and social interactions.
  • Trustworthy Human-AI Interaction: Despite all the benefits AI brings, the surge in fake media poses serious threats to a well functioning democratic society. As such, within the AI, Media, and Democracy Lab, a current focus is on designing and building transparent and trustworthy AI, using the EU AI Act as a point of departure.

→ Looking for a master's thesis project in HCI, Human-centered AI, and/or Design? Check out the Students page and get in touch.


   - We are organizing a semester program at CWI on AI's impact on society, media & democracy
   - Gave guest lecture at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on "Affective Augmentation Systems" for the Human-Computer Interaction bachelor course
   - Two papers cond. accepted at CHI '24: (1) GenAI in UXD (2) Haptics in Avatar Co-embodiment
   - Case study on AI, Media, Democracy lab accepted at CHI '24
   - Workshop on integrating physiological signals in HCI accepted at CHI '24
   - Gave talk on "Affective Augmentation Systems" for Game and Media Technology Colloquium at Utrecht University
   - Will serve as CHI '25' Video Showcase Co-chair
   - Attended Dagstuhl seminar on protecting against cognitive vulnerabilities in social engineering
   - Will serve as MUM '24 Workshops Co-chair
   - Gave talk on "Affective Augmentation Systems" at Cyber-physical Technologies for Affective Wellbeing workshop
   - Will serve as ICMI '24 LBW Co-chair
   - Gave talk on "Affective Interactive Systems" part of CWI-INRIA research collaboration