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Italy’s Strategy for an Embedded, Human-Centered AI
By Claudia Schettini  |  Oct 14, 2021
Italy’s Strategy for an Embedded, Human-Centered AI
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Italy was a little slow to embrace new AI technologies and lagged well behind its European counterparts when the AI Big Bang suddenly burst onto the scene less than a decade ago. Claudia Schettini picks up the baton on how Italy got up to speed by establishing a National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

ROME - “Artificial Intelligence is such a magnificent invention that is leading all human beings to accomplish the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Digitalization is, thus, a transversal necessity and the most important tool that could take us out from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on July 21, 2021, in the aftermath of the establishment of the Italian Work Group on the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

The summer of 2020 saw the Italian government engaged on a multiple of fronts, including a digital one. Last June, Italy finally adopted its artificial intelligence (AI) strategy and, considering the speed at which the development of the technology is proceeding, and the long-term impacts on people’s lives, this has been a forward step of the utmost importance.

However, the strategy is still under government review because it lacks an organic and systemic direction. The absence of a clear strategy precisely explains why Italy stands at the bottom of the European rankings, both in terms of digital education and in terms of access to the world wide web.

The necessity for an embedded and ‘whole-of-government’ strategy stems from the awareness that AI represents an unprecedented opportunity to boost Italy’s industrial development and economic growth, as well as social interactions and sustainable development. The Italian AI strategy stems from the European Plan for AI, promoted and published by the European Commission on February 19, 2020.1The document is part of the 2018 EU Coordinated Plan whose aim is the implementation of an AI-based industrial policy which meets all necessary ethical requirements.2

The Italian action is the result of an inter-ministerial initiative since it has been adopted in synergy among the Ministry of the Economic Development that elaborated a strategy for industrial innovation, the Ministry of Education and Research, and t

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