For a Human-Centered AI

The Future of the AI in Europe with the AI Act

May 24, 2024

The Festival of Economics, hosted a debate on recently passed European legislation

The long-awaited event dedicated to the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI ACT) was held on May 24, hosted at the Museo Diocesano Tridentino’s Sala degli Arazzi during the Trento Festival of Economics.

The meeting was attended by distinguished experts and lead players in the field: Ferruccio Resta, President of Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Giorgio Metta, Scientific Director of the Italian Institute of Technology, Roberto Viola, Director General of DG Connect, European Commission, Rita Cucchiara, Professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.  Moderated by Luca De Biase, journalist for Il Sole 24 Ore, the event delved into the developments and implications of the recent approval of the AI ACT by the European Parliament.

The event was a significant opportunity for reflection and debate on the relevance of balanced regulation and strategic investment to ensure Europe’s leading role in the global artificial intelligence landscape. Indeed, the AI ACT represents a critical regulatory framework to ensure security and respect for fundamental rights while promoting innovation in artificial intelligence. The legislation establishes specific obligations for AI, based on the risks and impact of technologies.

Starting from the insights offered by the book “Il Codice del Futuro” (The Code of the Future), co-written by Luca De Biase and Roberto Viola, the event explored the needs that made the AI Act necessary, highlighting the urgency of moving from mere regulation to the production of a European artificial intelligence.

Fondazione Bruno Kessler President Ferruccio Resta expressed his support for the AI ACT, but stressed the importance of not limiting it to regulation alone: “European regulation of Artificial Intelligence is a fundamental step to protect users from the potential risks of this revolutionary technology, but it must not hold back innovation.  To attract talent and capital, Europe needs to invest heavily in AI, avoiding the dispersion of resources and focusing on ambitious, fast-track, proven projects that can deliver tangible, high-impact results. These initiatives, to be truly distinctive, must reflect a Europe-specific approach to AI. With this in mind, FBK has set itself the goal of building a human-centered, integrated and creative AI that will meet social rules and needs and is primarily aimed at people’s well-being.”

Roberto Viola pointed out that the culture of safety and transparency is key to European technology development. As a result, AI “made in Europe” is safe, certified and works thanks to investments and collaboration between different skills of excellence, definitely comparable to those of big international players. During the event, Rita Cucchiara stressed that the new European legislation represents a serious guarantee for both researchers and companies, while Giorgio Metta stressed that the AI Act has imposed reasonable constraints, and that the challenge will be to produce algorithms capable of integrating these constraints.

FBK, in line with the European vision, works on an AI that stands out for different values and mindsets with respect to that made in the U.S. or China, and is therefore strongly committed to embodying the European capacity to develop high-impact and, at the same time, value-friendly artificial intelligence.

FBK’s mission is to build AI that will meet social rules and needs, aimed primarily at people’s well-being.  Through the Focus Talent Program, FBK promotes research and higher education projects, offering customized hands-on learning programs to maximize the potential of young researchers and doctoral students.  The program provides ad hoc welfare initiatives and continuous onboarding, responding to talent needs to attract human capital and critical mass.

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