White Paper on Artificial Intelligence

Status: 
concluded
Period: 
October 2017 - June 2018
Funding: 
34.400 € (for Nexa)
Funding organization: 

Agid (Agenzia per l'Italia Digitale)

Person(s) in charge: 

Juan Carlos De Martin (coordinator), Antonio Santangelo (author), Eleonora Bassi (advisor), Giuseppe Futia (advisor),

Executive summary: 

he Nexa Center for Internet & Society has been charged by Agid (the Italian Agency for Digitalization) with the very prestigious assignments of participating to an experts’ task force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the aim to give the Italian Government advice on how to adopt AI technologies in the public sector and of writing the Italian White Paper on AI in Public Administration.

Background: 

The Nexa Center for Internet & Society is known for having worked on the innovation of the Italian Public Administration (https://nexa.polito.it/opening-italian-data). Moreover, in the last year, it has started to work on AI, having organized its annual conference on this topic and having financed two Ph.D.s and a temporary research position on the ethics of AI, on machine learning and on the relationship between AI and urban systems.
For these very reasons, prof. De Martin has been asked to be part of an experts’ task force (https://ia.italia.it/en/task-force/) created by Agid to give the Italian Government advice on how to adopt AI technologies in the public sector. Moreover, Nexa Center has been charged to follow the task force’s works and, with the help of Agid’s personnel, to use its outputs to write an Italian White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and innovation in Public Administration.

Objectives: 

In the plans of Agid, the White Paper had many objectives. Firstly, it had to describe the state of the art of AI technology, its main applications and its future developments. Secondarily, it had to explain criticalities and advantages of its adoption in every sector of our everyday lives, especially in the Public Administration’s one. Finally, the White Paper had to suggest the way the Italian Government should have moved to facilitate its adoption by the State, doing the best to improve citizens’ life quality and minimizing the problems that the advent of every massive new technology brings in our societies.
All of this had to be explained in a very simple and communicative way, to involve citizens in the draft of the White Paper and to craft a useful tool to help everybody understand the big changes we are soon going through.

Results: 

These objectives have been reached by diving the White Paper into four sections. The first one is related to the politics adopted by the Italian Government to promote and enhance digital innovation, and on the role of AI in this context. The second section was on the state of the art of AI technologies, on what they can already do and on what they will be doing in the years to come. The third part of the White Paper is focused on criticalities and advantadges of AI, considering ethical, technological, and legal issues. Furthermore, this section discusses the skills required to citizens to use AI applications, the impacts on the labour market, the inequalities risks and how to avoid them, the role of States in its adoption in every sector of society, the measurement of its effects and of the way it can be used to really empower people.

Finally, the fourth section of the White Paper provides a set of recommendations on how the Italian Government should work to promote the use of AI in the public sector.

White Paper