Future Built on Knowledge

Innovation and society in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. Can they go hand in hand?

November 21, 2017

The meeting "Artificial Intelligence and Us" hosted at Fondazione Corriere della Sera on November 6, has pointed out that man and machine are not antagonists and that a 'peaceful' existence in the era of artificial intelligence may be possible. As long as it we invest in young people and their training.

“Trentino has made important choices, and has a vision of the future and, therefore, when it comes to innovation this land is in its element – Valeria Fedeli, Minister of Research, said – From a general point of view, this conference today shows to the Italian society the importance of innovation and artificial intelligence serving positive changes in people’s lives, this is the real point. ”

So, innovation to be pursued and interpreted not as antagonist to man, as his substitute, but as support and aid to work and society. And to be developed with a positive view, while not hiding the issues connected to the changes it brings. “Certainly, the use of artificial intelligence will bring some job replacements – argues Francesco Profumo, FBK president – but what we know for sure is that in this new stage there will be a need for more widespread education, greater training of people and, therefore, there will be many new jobs whose definition and extent we do not know yet. ”

The Trentino model starts from the training of young students. This was witnessed during the event by Alessia Marcolini and Marco Moschini, who, as part of their career path, attended FBK Webvalley camps, FBK summer camps dedicated to Data Science, an experience that has changed their career paths and their lives.
Marco Moschini (WebValley 2005) said: “I was 17 years old, I had no research experience, but from Webvalley on I realized that research would be an integral part of my job and my life. In direct contact with FBK researchers, I realized that their job is not clocking-in and clocking-out, but trying to get to the answer to their research question with passion. ”

Another known face for FBK at the Corriere Foundation was Alfio Gliozzo. With philosophy studies and a doctorate earned from the FBK Phd Program as his background, he told the adventure in the world of artificial intelligence that led him to play a leading role at IBM TJ Watson Research Center in New York, USA. The upside of the Italian school for him? The strong foundation on humanities that makes Italian students brilliant and thanks to which they can really boast a margin of difference also compared with colleagues from countries ranking at the top of the international charts for school and education.

“FBK and Trentino have a long history in this field – President Profumo emphasized in its opening speech – that dates back to the 1980s when Luigi Stringa, at the suggestion of Bruno Kessler, the president at that time, identified two sectors for the Institute: artificial intelligence and microsystems.  Since then, the Foundation has gone through all the phases of artificial intelligence, both positive and less positive ones, and today it has gained maturity because this experience have been put to work. FBK is a benchmark in this delicate phase where applications have to reach end users. ”

And what are the issues which FBK research tackles to make its contribution to society in the AI ​​era? “Health is a big topic, the factory of the future is another one, the behavior of citizens in these new cities that are increasingly urging a third one. The topics connected to the factory are certainly one of the elements that will be targeted in the future, as well as mobility: the connected car on which FBK is currently working. So I would say that the application spectrum is actually wide and start right from the experiences that are the intuition of Bruno Kessler and Luigi Stringa. ”


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