Italy AI Strategy

White Paper on Artificial Intelligence at the service of citizens

Overview of the strategy

Italy’s AI strategy focuses on the use of AI in the Public Administration in promoting digital transformation.

The plan addresses challenges to this digital transformation effort:

1. Ethical challenges – The need to generate general principles or equity, respect for freedom, and to guarantee individual and collective rights.

2. Technological challenges – The priority is to work on personalization and adaptivity to allow the Public Administration to operate more individually.

3. Skills challenges – The State bears the responsibility to reshape the education system and encourage lifelong learning to keep up with these changes and make sure civil servants and the public sector are properly trained.

4. Data challenges – Data must be good quality and exempt of as much biases as possible. The need to ensure equal and non-discriminatory access to anyone wishing to use open data must be met.

5. Legal challenges – Use of AI must deal with the issues of privacy, transparency, and accountability. The issue of guaranteeing transparency in algorithmic decisions while protecting the copyright of the creators of the algorithm must be dealt with.

6. Public Administration adoption challenges – Acknowledges the need to understand the importance of training public employees, particularly officials and managers, on the functioning, benefits, as well as ethical and technical implications on the use of AI technologies in the public sector.

7. Preventing inequalities challenge – The Public Administration must pay great attention to the development of inclusive, accessible, transparent, not discriminatory and free-from-bias solutions.

8. Measuring the impact challenges – Multidisciplinary quantitative and qualitative research is needed to assess the impact of AI. The research should focus on measuring people’s quality of life and customer satisfaction and organizations’ efficiency and effectiveness. 

9. The human being – Promote the understanding of AI by closing the gap between research, industry, and society.

Ten recommendations follow at the end of the strategy:

1.  Promote a nation platform dedicated to the development of AI to assist in the collection and annotation of data, as well as models.

2. Ensure AI used by the Public Administration does not harm privacy or security of citizens and allow for the reproducibility of the AI and evaluation of verifiability.

3. Digitizing and annotating Italian language corpora to assist AI based on the natural language.

4. Develop customizable recommender systems that facilitate interaction with the services offered by public administrations.

5. Create the National Competence Centre that can provide predictions to facilitate positive impacts and reduce risks of the use of AI by public administrations.

6. Facilitate the dissemination of skills through the promotion of certification of professionals working in the area of AI.

7. Create a Public Administration 4.0 plan to encourage the Public Administrations investment in AI.

8. Support the collaboration between research, business accelerators and innovation hubs, both public and private, at the national and European level.

9. Establish a Trans-disciplinary Centre on AI to address ethical issues and involve experts and citizens to transform technical and social considerations into regulations, standards and technical solutions.

10. Define guidelines and processes based on the principle of security-by-design in the use of AI.


Data governance in the strategy

  • Does the AI plan mention data governance?

Yes

  • Does the AI plan discuss open public data?

Yes; the strategy does discuss open public data and the need to make it more accessible to the public.

  • Does the AI plan discuss proprietary data?

No

  • Does the AI plan discuss personal data?

Yes; the plan mentions the use of personal data by the Public Administration and that the adoption of GDPR principles may be necessary. 

  • Does the AI plan discuss the mixing of data (hybrid)?

No

  • Has the government consulted with the public on its AI strategy?

Yes; a public consultation for comments and recommendations was open to the public.