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The European approach to Artificial Intelligence (AI) is based mainly on two documents, the “AI Act” and the “Coordinated Plan on AI”, which provide a framework of principles and aims to promote a range of European efforts in developing AI excellence and innovation, while guaranteeing trust, safety, and fundamental rights. The AI Act is the world’s first proposal for a legal framework regulating specific uses of AI while the Coordinated Plan on AI brings forward strategic alignment, policy action and acceleration of investment. The plan focuses on three key areas of action: increasing investment in AI, fostering AI adoption and deployment, and ensuring that the development and deployment of AI is done in a manner that is human-centric and ethical. Through the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programs for research funding, the European Commission is investing €1 billion per year in AI. Moreover, with a total of €134 billion at its disposal, the Recovery and Resilience Facility has the potential to foster and transform digital innovation, enabling Europe to achieve its ambitions and establish itself as a dominant player in creating innovative and reliable AI solutions.

The KRDB research centre is a member of the Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe (CLAIRE). The document “Claire Vision: Toward a European Common Approach for AI” is a report commissioned by the European Commission aiming to provide a common vision for the development of AI in Europe and identify key challenges and opportunities for policymakers, businesses, and society. The report proposes a set of guiding principles and key actions:

  • a human-centric approach that respects human rights, diversity, and inclusion;
  • trustworthy AI to ensure that AI systems are transparent, explainable, and accountable;
  • a knowledge-based approach that promotes research and innovation in AI and fosters collaboration between academia, industry, and government;
  • a level playing field to ensure that European businesses have access to data, talent, and investment to compete with other global players;
  • international cooperation to promote a global dialogue on AI governance and establishing partnerships with other countries and regions.

The “National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Italy 2020” is a document that outlines the country’s plan to develop and implement AI technologies in various sectors. Together with stating the mission of an accessible well-founded education on AI topics, the document emphasises the importance of an intelligent and knowledge-based management of the data in the public administrations, to make it interoperable, transparent, trustworthy.

The Agency for Digital Italy (AGID) organises the “AI-Gov: Artificial Intelligence at the service of the citizen” task force to study how dissemination of Artificial Intelligence solutions and technologies can affect the evolution of public services to improve the relationship between public administration and citizens. The task force, in collaboration with the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AIxIA), published the “Artificial Intelligence at the service of citizens” white paper, in which it is praised the availability, quality and interoperability of data: the linked open data of public bodies, it is written in the document, must be retrieved and filtered by means of semantic technologies and shared ontologies, not only for interoperability reasons, but also as a way to ensure equal and non-discriminatory access to anyone wishing to use it.

The Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AIxIA) is a non-profit scientific association founded in 1988 with the aim of promoting the research and dissemination of the techniques related to Artificial Intelligence. The vice-president of the association is a KRDB full professor. The Association aims at increasing the knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, fostering its teaching, and promoting both theoretical and applied research in the field through seminars, targeted initiatives, and sponsorship of events. Within the Association there are eleven working groups, among them: agent and multi-agent systems, knowledge representation and automated reasoning, natural language processing, strategic reasoning, AI for healthcare, AI for cultural heritage. Currently, the association has over 1000 members and it is part of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (EurAI).

Gartner and Deloitte are consulting services for businesses in the IT sector, working with organisations to develop technology strategies, plans, and budgets, as well as select the right technologies for their operations. According to Gartner’s predictions, the utilisation of semantic and knowledge graph technologies in data and analytics innovations is set to increase to 80% by 2025. The adoption of knowledge-based technologies is being driven by various factors, such as the ever-increasing amount of data being generated and collected, the necessity to comprehend it, and its integration into artificial intelligence analytics. The structured data and context provided by semantic annotations, knowledge graphs, and ontologies can significantly benefit these technologies. Similarly, Deloitte indicates the creation of knowledge-based technologies with semantic description of information context as the instrument to allow users to access machine-readable representation of complex interdependencies the form real-world model of the knowledge domain. Knowledge graphs integrate knowledge and data across the whole enterprise, support complex decisions and efficiently helps in revealing the origin of correlation: knowledge graphs are at the foundations of AI technologies “that are more intelligent than artificial”.

The Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3) of the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol includes a specialisation area on Smart Processing. Strategic themes in this area are Big Data, Natural Language Processing, Process Mining, Data Lakes and Data Redundancy, Cybersecurity, Predictive Analytics and Maintenance, and Business Analytics for Business Performance. The next strategic period for RIS3 include increasing efficiency and sustainability, creating uniform data management, developing tools for data-driven process optimisation, digitising business processes, fostering cooperation between users and technology providers in South Tyrol, supporting start-ups and spin-offs, and creating technical knowledge.

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