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A cohesive architecture between Italy and Canada for sustainable artificial intelligence

A cohesive architecture between Italy and Canada for sustainable artificial intelligence

The ambitious program of the third edition of the Canada-Italy Forum on Artificial Intelligence 2021 that has just ended leaves behind an ideal climate of collaboration and research between two countries that are already so close in terms of culture and friendship. Many valuable interventions promoted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada, including the voice of Professor Edmondo Grassi, member of the Scientific Committee of the Centro Studi Italia Canada, expert in ethics and artificial intelligence.

The third edition of the Canada-Italy Forum on Artificial Intelligence 2021 was held on 18 and 19 November with the participation of institutions, research bodies, companies and exponents of the university world. The Centro Studi Italia Canada participated with the presence of prof. Edmondo Grassi.

The questions posed by the potential of the algorithms that prepare artificial intelligence are at the basis of the future equilibrium of the planet and the social, political, cultural and economic challenges we are facing. With this in mind, the Summit conceived by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada has decided to organize two days in which to discuss the role of this immanent and widespread technology as an ally to facilitate the process of implementing policies that are aimed at sustainable development, acceleration of the innovation of the green transition and the centrality of a collaboration between person and machine.

Four thematic areas for this edition - health, energy, mobility, circular economy - and a closing round table with representatives of Italian and Canadian research on ethics and data protection.

As last year, the formula for 2021 was to present all the interventions in digital format in compliance with international regulations to combat the pandemic in progress, giving rise to a concrete, transdisciplinary and inclusive dialogue with respect to the issues raised: the hi-tech skills of Québec, with the MILA ecosystem and the humanities applied to the new technologies of Italy are the link between the two cultures.

Artificial intelligence as a contemporary actor of our interactions and the cultural paradigm of a changing society thanks to the help of big data, an experiential material to feed the knowledge of the algorithm, are the elements that describe the framework of an interconnected world.

Italy and Canada and the future challenges, between ethics and data protection.

The Centro Studi Italia Canada with the figure of prof. Edmondo Grassi enthusiastically accepted the invitation to contribute to the already rich program of the Forum.

In particular, prof. Grassi joined, as part of the closing conference, the panel dedicated to ethics and data protection, moderated by the journalist Sara Moraca.

With Prof. Grassi, they debated on the topic:


  • Michele Colajanni - University of Bologna
  • Sanzio Bassini - IFAB / Cineca
  • Marcel Labelle - Cybereco
  • Alexandre Lagarde - Montreal International
  • Guido Boella - University of Turin


The professor reiterated the centrality of a perception of the "machine" as an anthropocentric element of rupture to consider new horizons and perspectives not yet investigated, considering that the person experiences hybrid relationships between real and digital, areas that are now fused and without borders. Being experiences information and through technology perceives its identity materiality located and acted out by digital devices. Human and non-human actors establish innovative ways of intercorporation, generating new representations and grammars of person-machine narration, where the latter is not a prosthesis or enhancement but an embodied integral part of our interaction with society.

Among the great challenges that ethics declined in the field of artificial intelligence will have to face three particular fields emerge:

  • the first concerns the education of the person and the perception of an immanent technology such as artificial intelligence, capable of acting, co-acting but above all retroacting in the daily life of the individual, positively undermining the anthropocentric vision and outlining new paradises of nature socio-political;
  • the second concerns the "machinic landscapes", relating to the willingness to readjust society to AI, in which many infrastructures are almost devoid of human beings;
  • Finally, evoking Goffman - Canadian sociologist - and the vision of life as a symbolic theatrical representation, the A.I. it could help us look at society from another philosophical-sociological perspective, becoming a crucial ally against total institutions.

We also talked about the opportunities for collaboration between the two countries that share a common historical framework with respect to the social relevance of artificial intelligence and its ethical, value and social implications: we could mention Marshall McLuhan and Luciano Gallino, the first Canadian and the another Italian, as prestigious scholars on media and technologies.

Both countries have always expressed a strong interest in the subject but the differences lie in Canada's tenacious desire for innovation and research which has always stood out for its transdisciplinary spirit, for an acute forecast of AI developments. and for investments, not only in the technical sector - the largest academic center in the field of deep learning, MILA, is based in Montreal - but, above all, for its humanistic perspective on technology.

Italy has had very relevant reference points such as the Gallino Laboratory in Turin or the reality of the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa but for years, in the socio-humanistic sector, the extent of this innovation has been underestimated to recover in a substantially in the last period, especially with respect to the ethical matrix and the principles that can socially guide the encounter between person and machine.

In the light of these elements, the possibility and necessity of establishing a close collaboration of exchanges of knowledge and personnel between Italy and Canada emerges.


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