Italy to pump 1 billion euros into AI projects

Italy sets its sights on AI, with plans to set up an investment fund to promote artificial intelligence projects.

Speaking via video message at the ‘Artificial Intelligence for Italy’ conference in Rome, on Tuesday (Mar. 12), Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced a one-billion-euro fund.

This is being backed by CDP Venture Capital, a unit of state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the fund could go on to raise a further 2 billion euros from the private sector, the company’s chief executive Agostino Scornajenchi said.

According to Reuters, the PM expanded further by saying: “We are convinced that there can and must be an Italian way to artificial intelligence,”

Alongside the one-billion-euro investment fund, he also said they’ll be looking at a law to regulate AI: “The government is preparing a law that aims to establish some principles and set rules that are complementary to the European regulation that is in the process of being approved and identify the most effective measures to stimulate our productive capabilities.”

Giorgia Meloni continues: “We are also working to identify the most suitable body to act as the competent authority for the use of technologies based on artificial intelligence.”

The planned legislation will be officially presented in the coming weeks and it’ll sit under the national AI strategy.

This comes in the midst of other countries announcing AI plans, with President Biden signing an executive order to oversee and invest in AI in October of last year. This order is broad, but suggests funding for the U.S. government to further invest in the technology.

In the UK’s 2024 Budget announcement (Mar. 6) the Chancellor announced the doubling of investment for the Alan Turing Institute which is the internationally leading body for data science AI, bringing its total funding to £100 million.

How different countries are approaching AI

Since its inception, countries worldwide have had mixed feelings about incorporating the use of AI.

A December 2023 cluster analysis created by James S. Denford, Gregory S. Dawson, and Kevin C. Desouza has highlighted differences and similarities between countries’ national AI strategies. The authors found that the U.S. has one of the most complete AI strategies, but is focused heavily on the dangers of AI. They report this to be the case across many Western countries.

They highlight China as paving the way and being in the lead, with an almost exclusive interest in research and development.

According to research, places like China, Spain, and the U.S. plan to deploy AI in all industries other than defense and tourism.

Featured image: Photo by Caleb Miller on Unsplash

Read More

Sophie Atkinson