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Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems

The Artificial Intelligence, in its modern, multidisciplinary meaning, is considered the most strategic and disruptive technology of the XXI century.

Following the most recent European statements, today the AI can be defined as “the theory and the development of the information technology capable of performing tasks that would require the human intelligence, such as the visual perception, the vocal recognition, the decisional process and the language translation”. In that same recent European statement “AI for Europe” the AI, compared for strategic strength to the electricity of the XIX century, is referred to the systems showing an “intelligent behaviour”, analysing the environment and taking decisions with a certain degree of autonomy.

The AI of the XXI century is a combination of computer technologies that, thanks to the progressive accessibility to vast database derived from the digital transformation, are the elementary components for the creation of smart systems capable of perceiving the external world, learn, think and act as a biological system, or better, possibly. The recent progresses in the Machine Learning and Deep Learning and the availability of calculating capacity even at low cost led the AI to spread everywhere, from the radical transformation of the industrial processes to the complex economic and social analysis. The examination and coordination of the work of all the AI areas is fundamental to develop the basic components of the new generation of smart systems and services, and to embrace in a single paradigm many technologies: from the perceptive systems (language, sight, sensors, aptic interfaces), to the learning systems and automatic learning (statistic Machine Learning, neural machine learning, representative models of knowledge, optimization and planning), to the smart systems capable of interacting whit the environment (robotics, autonomous vehicles moving in virtual and augmented reality), to the retrieval systems, Q&A, recommendations, users profiling, to the cybersecurity and the social media analysis.

The new exceptional opportunities created by the AI introduce new risks and vulnerabilities: the society can be exposed to automatic discriminations, privacy violations, loss of autonomy and lack of transparency; risks that can reduce the stakeholders’ trust and the social approval of new opportunities. The AI can be a powerful tool to increase the human skills (augmented intelligence) or to create autonomous and collaborative systems and robots. Robotics is positively transforming our way of living and working, increasing the efficiency, quality and safety standards. AI is expected to become the leading technology of an entire new generation of (semi) autonomous devices capable of actively interacting with the surrounds and giving the missing link between the physical and digital world.

Italy has a consolidated tradition in the AI methodological, technical and applicative grounds and in this scientific, economic, industrial and social enthusiasm the need to match the Universities and Research Centers emerged: a new CINI (Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per l’Informatica) National Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems (AIIS) is created. The Lab wants to create the bases for an effective Italian ecosystem of artificial intelligence, collecting all the expertise and national excellences aiming to highlight and strengthen the scientific and technological role of Italy in Europe and in the world.

Targets are ambitious:

  • To strengthen the Italian Research: establish a connection among the Italian scientific excellences in all the AI and smart systems fields. AIIS aims to monitor the Italian research in the AI and supervise the progresses in the theory and engineering of smart systems, either in terms of capacity of research and technological transfer.
  • To endorse the Italian role in the world: it means pushing the Italian strategic role in all the European and international ventures to support the national and European investments in Technology and Research.
  • To help the Italian IT industry promoting the technological transfer from the research to the entrepreneurship through innovative start-up and new business activities, engaging small and medium sized companies with AI products as strategical assets, supporting the Italian industrial stakeholder without IT assets (Automotive, Fashion, Manufacturing, Agrifood Industry, Space) in their growth.
  • To support the Italian Society in facing the challenges the AI is introducing to our lifestyles: health, ageing and wellness technologies, education and instruction up to humanistic and cultural disciplines.
  • To promote AI solutions to the Public Administrations for the new services to the citizens.
  • To introduce a deeper awareness of the AI technologies application risks, even on ethics and social aspects, data security, national security, malevolent use, dual-use.
  • To monitor the Italian resource to develop the AI technology in the present and in the future, engaging the High Performance Computing resource managers to define the strength of the Italian infrastructure.

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