For a Human-Centered AI

The newly established “Fair” foundation will manage 114 million from the PNRR on artificial intelligence.

March 10, 2023

FBK is leading the spoke dedicated to integrative AI.

The launch event of the Extended Partnership on Artificial Intelligence “Future Ai Research” (Fair), funded with 114.5 million euros by the Ministry of University and Research under the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience (PNRR), was held at the Research Area of the National Research Council in Pisa, which is coordinating the project.

The “Fair” expanded partnership, coordinated by CNR, involves 350 researchers from 25 public and private partners.

Within the Fair Foundation, FBK is leading the Integrative AI Spoke, which advances a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to integrative AI. Funding for the spoke managed by FBK is 10 million euros over three years. Only two scientific partners participate in the Integrative AI Spoke: FBK, which coordinates it, and the University of Trento.

FBK and Integrative Artificial Intelligence

Current research in AI successfully addresses specific tasks of a rather narrow scope or complex problems that can be decomposed into simpler independent sub-problems.

In order to overcome the complexity barrier, a fundamental change in research is needed, which goes beyond the current approach based on vertical and separate AI areas and adopts an integrated approach, which can be called Integrative-AI. This is the approach envisioned by the Fair partnership: interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and oriented toward theories and techniques that integrate different scientific methods, technologies, disciplines, and expertise.

“Integrative intelligence means proposing a new holistic theory, encompassing many different disciplines and skills,”said Paolo Traverso, Director of Marketing Strategy and Business Development at FBK and scientific coordinator for the FBK-led Fair spoke. ” This is precisely why FBK is he leader in the dedicated spoke, as it can count on very diverse skills among its staff. At the Foundation, we have excellence in different areas, such as techniques in learning from data and model-based reasoning, as well as expertise in the humanities and social sciences. All of them are actually working in a strong synergy to create integrated models for a new artificial intelligence that does not yet exist.”

The Fair partnership starts from current Artificial Intelligence, its various theoretical, modeling and engineering aspects, but is looking toward the future, with the ambition to help address research questions, methodologies, models, and technologies, without neglecting ethical and legal rules, as well as sustainability issues in a broad sense, not only form an environmental standpoint.

The Fair partnership

The Fair expanded partnership, coordinated by CNR, involves 350 researchers from the initiative’s 25 partners. This initial core of scientists will be joined by another 150 fixed-term researchers and 100 PhD students who will be recruited to work on the project, spread throughout the country.

The partnership constitutes a research network spread throughout the territory from North to South and includes 4 research institutions (in addition to CNR, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Infn, and Iit), 14 universities (Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico di Torino, Sapienza, Scuola Normale Superiore, SISSA, Università Bocconi, Università Campus Biomedico di Roma, Università della Calabria, Università di Bari, Università di Bologna, Università di Catania, Università di Napoli “Federico II,” Università di Pisa, Università di Trento) and 7 companies (Bracco, Deloitte, Expert. ai, Intesa Sanpaolo, Leonardo, Lutech, STMicroelectronics).






As stipulated in the call, the partnership is based on the “Hub & Spoke” model where the hub is the legal entity in charge of coordinating and managing the entire partnership, while the spokes are the entities (universities or research organizations) that coordinate the research activities.
Fair’s hub is a holding foundation based in Pisa at the CNR’s Research Area, while the ten spokes of the partnership are geographically distributed in different Italian regions: five in the north (Turin, Milan, Trento, Genoa and Bologna), two in the center (Pisa and Rome) and three in the south (Bari, Cosenza and Naples). Each spoke is characterized by a specific themed area, with the aim of addressing research challenges to achieve human-centered, sustainable, safe, inclusive and reliable artificial intelligence.
As for the companies, the first seven involved in the partnership will soon be joined by others. The goal is to create around Fair an ecosystem of companies and PA entities interested in using the scientific results produced by the foundation’s work. Already more than 100 companies have expressed interest in joining the Fair ecosystem (including 20 startups), while at the PA level the following have expressed interest in participating: the Tuscany Region, the Puglia Region, the National Cybersecurity Agency, Consob, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Sogei and the Higher Institute of Health, among others. Halfway through the project, i.e. after 18 months, an estimated 300 companies will be involved, rising to more than 600 by the end of the project (three years).
In its plan of action, Fair provides for an inclusive approach and interdisciplinarity, with the enhancement of excellence spread throughout the national scientific community thanks to the allocation of specific funds for the South and women’s research. Fair counts to involve 33 percent women in the project by the end of the partnership, a considerable figure if we keep in mind that in the Italian artificial intelligence scientific community women are about 20 percent.

Follow the link to the official Fair/CNR press release:

Follow the link to the Fair Foundation:



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