The impact of new technologies on the world of work
A few days ago the news that arrived from the Italian university of Bologna that will be the first Italian university to activate an “international master’s degree in artificial intelligence”. In fact, together with the Sapienza University of Rome, it is the only one in our country to have created a very sectorial and dedicated degree course, entirely in English, on the founding and applicative disciplines of this subject. This degree course in “Artificial Intelligence” is the first, for its specificity and completeness, to deal with subjects such as artificial vision, natural language treatment, “data science” and decision support systems. A course of study with a specific objective: to train graduates capable of becoming specialists in “Artificial Intelligence”. Highly specialized professionals ready for a world of work that will be guided by robots, virtual assistants, self-driving cars, advanced robotics and predictive models. The technological innovations related to the use of artificial intelligence do not stop creating new languages and cognitive models. Also in Bologna, a new research center will start with six foreign professors to study the psychological, ethical and legal implications of a robot-driven world.
Another novelty is the interdepartmental center for artificial intelligence research which will open in the spring, where dozens of researchers, including six foreigners, will work. “We are deploying a world-class research capability”, does not hesitate to affirm the vice-rector for research Antonino Rotolo. The sector is obviously very promising: in the last six years the University of Bologna has raised 50 million euros in funding for 120 research projects on artificial intelligence. These include a 20 million European maxi-project for the creation of a European platform on artificial intelligence. All waiting for 2022 when the world conference on artificial intelligence, the Ljcai-Ecai will arrive under the Two Towers. “The theme – Rotolo underlines – is not brain drain but that of brain attractiveness. But to attract them you need a strong project ”.
The “artificial” and highly robotic vision of the future of humanity is no longer a mirage with blurred outlines, but has already become reality thanks to new application technologies and their socio-economic implications. In short, a future that we can already touch with our own hands and that the university world also starts to approach to train new figures of experts in the sector.
But what is it and above all when Artificial Intelligence is born?
rtificial Intelligence was born with the advent of computers and its date of birth is set in 1956. And even if when we talk about “Artificial Intelligence” we are led to immediately think of cutting-edge technologies, robots capable of understand and decide the actions to be taken and a futuristic world in which machines and men can coexist, in reality, however, Artificial Intelligence and its use is much more real than you can imagine and is used today in “multiple sectors ”Of daily life. However, these are less invasive uses than we think or what is often shown by science fiction films that have found the starting point for many more or less successful series in the theme of Artificial Intelligence. Technically Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that allows the programming and design of both hardware and software systems that allow to equip machines with certain characteristics that are considered typically human, such as, for example, visual, space-time perceptions and decision-making. That is to say, it is not only intelligence understood as the ability to calculate or knowledge of abstract data, but also and above all all those different forms of intelligence that are recognized by Gardner’s theory, and that range from spatial to social intelligence, from kinesthetic to introspective. An intelligent system that is created by trying to recreate one or more of these different forms of intelligence which, although they are often defined as simply human, can actually be traced back to particular behaviors reproducible by some machines.
If until a few years ago the main problem of all the scientists involved in artificial intelligence research was that of being able to demonstrate the realistic possibility of using intelligent systems for common uses, today that this goal is widely achieved, one often wonders which one can be the future of Intelligence
Artificial. Certainly there is still a long way to go, especially in certain sectors, but the awareness that Artificial Intelligence today represents a reality and no longer a hypothesis, doubts are mainly related to the different possibilities of use of intelligent systems and their impact on social and economic fabric. Many people believe that the use of intelligent systems is relegated to particular computer elites without thinking that, instead, Artificial Intelligence is also used extensively in everyday life. For example, the various voice recognition tools that are regularly used, from smartphones to security systems, are based on typical AI algorithms, in particular those related to machine learning. Very well known, in the panorama of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, is the use that is made of this tool in the automotive sector. Vehicles capable of moving in traffic even without a driver are today something that goes beyond experimentation, even if their use is limited only to certain sectors and situations. Much exploited, however, all those applications that make use of the Fuzzy logic, which allow the realization of speed change systems in semi-autonomous driving cars. Many artificial intelligence projects are mainly used in the programming of games, from chess to backgammon. Just these two particular games have also made an important contribution to the development of learning algorithms.
Further sectors in which Artificial Intelligence is used on a regular basis are the stock market, medicine and robotics. In addition, intelligent systems are also used to further improve many sectors of IT itself. Finally, in the medical field, Artificial Intelligence mainly uses neural networks, especially in the analysis of the heartbeat, in the diagnosis of some
forme tumorali e nella realizzazione di robot di accompagnamento. Infine, anche molti moderni smartphone e dispositivi mobili presentano piattaforme basate su sistemi di Intelligenza Artificiale, che permettono una vera e propria interazione tra il telefono e il suo proprietario, fondamentale per diverse funzioni. Alcuni moderni telefoni, ad esempio, presentano dei sensori in grado di rendersi conto se il proprietario del telefono si sta muovendo a piedi o in veicolo: in questo caso automaticamente potrà impostarsi sulla modalità di guida per garantire la massima sicurezza nell’uso. Ancora, alcuni telefoni accenderanno automaticamente la torcia incorporata quando si renderanno conto che il proprietario si sta muovendo al buio. Le funzioni sono differenti e molto varie a seconda dei telefoni, ma tutte volte a migliorare il comfort e la sicurezza di quanti ne fanno uso. E se da un lato l’entusiasmo per l’evoluzione tecnologica è sicuramente molto evidente in diversi settori, dall’altro la paura che a breve le macchine potrebbero sostituire del tutto l’uomo in molti luoghi di lavoro si è insinuata in maniera sempre più insistente nelle menti di molti. L’evoluzione tecnologica già in passato ha portato a sostituire la mano d’opera umana con macchine e computer che, in maniera più rapida e soprattutto più economica, sono stati utilizzati in diversi settori. Con l’uso massivo dell’Intelligenza Artificiale sarà possibile perdere ulteriori posti di lavoro ma è anche vero che si apriranno sempre più strade per la realizzazione di nuove tipologie di figure professionali. Ma il contrasto tra uomo e macchina è un settore molto più ampio che non è solo relativo all’evoluzione dell’Intelligenza Artificiale e dei sistemi intelligenti, ma anche e soprattutto relativo alla morale e all’etica lavorativa e al corretto utilizzo delle macchine nel rispetto dell’uomo. Probabilmente la direzione che si prenderà non è ancora ben delineata, ma potrà portare a breve ad una nuova rivoluzione culturale e industriale.
Prof. Avv. Antonio Pulcini