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Towards an Italian Strategy on Artificial Intelligence. A Dialogue with UK Counterparts



Towards an Italian Strategy on Artificial Intelligence. A Dialogue with UK Counterparts

The fourth event in the Italy4Innovation series, entitled “Towards an Italian Strategy on Artificial Intelligence. A Dialogue with UK Counterparts” was held on 24 January at the Embassy of Italy in London. The event coincided with a visit by a large delegation of representatives of Italian institutions, research and academia working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The visit, co-organised by the British embassy in Rome and the British Science & Innovation office, included meetings with key British counterparts to assess the current situation and develop bilateral collaborations. The Italian delegates also gave an overview of Italy’s first national AI strategy, which is due to be published in the coming months.

The event offered an opportunity to compare the two countries’ AI systems and explore opportunities in the form of both collaboration and investment. The Italian ambassador, Raffaele Trombetta, gave an opening address in which he explained that the Italian government accords great importance to AI and that it has earmarked funds for it in the 2019 budget and set up a working group to develop the country’s AI strategy.

An overview of AI companies in Italy and the objectives that will be addressed in the new national strategy were illustrated by Marco Bellezza, the legal counsellor for communications and digital innovation at the Ministry of Economic Development, and Giuseppe Valditara, the head of the Department of Higher Education and Research at the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research.

In the discussion that followed, moderated by Roberto Masiero, head of The Innovation Group, the British speakers explained the strengths of British companies in the field of AI, which the recently introduced AI strategy aims to develop even further. The Italian speakers, in particular Matteo Corbetta of the Ministry of Economic Development and Rita Cucchiara of the Italian Inter-Academic Association for Digital Technologies, highlighted the many strong points of AI research in Italy and the numerous industrial applications of the technology. This was followed by a discussion of Italy’s upcoming AI strategy, which started being developed following the adoption of the coordinated EU plan.