The ‘Business Translator’ is born, the first educational initiative of the "Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Institute" created by Generali and Friuli-Venezia Giulia research entities

12 April 2022 - 10:28
  • The “Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Institute” will promote national research activities and knowledge transfer in the fields of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence

Trieste – The formative initiative of the ‘Business Translator Learning Path’ for the development of the innovative ‘Business Translator’ profession has been launched today. It will act as a bridge between business and data science as well as being an enabler of the use of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence in order to improve business performances and results.

The initiative, presented today in Trieste at Palazzo Berlam, has been launched by the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Institute “DS-AI Institute”, founded by the International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA), the University of Trieste, the University of Udine, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), MIB Trieste School of Management and Assicurazioni Generali.

This project, developed in close cooperation with Generali Group Academy - the Corporate University of the Generali Group, and with the Analytics Solution Centre of the Group, will involve several hundred Group managers on an international level.

The "DS-AI Institute" aims to promote and carry out research activities at a national level and to encourage the transfer of knowledge in the fields of machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence.

The Institute is founded on the excellence of its member organizations in both research and applications of artificial intelligence. The main research topics include the robustness and interpretability of artificial intelligence models, the development of predictive models in sciences by combining machine learning techniques with physical models, and artificial intelligence techniques to support health and life sciences.

Among the planned activities are the promotion and implementation of joint PhD programmes, master’s courses, research programmes, and training initiatives aimed to the upskilling and professional development of students/PhD students/grant recipients/those related to the fields of interest of the Institute.

The Institute also aims to encourage the exchange of information between researchers in the field, including in partnership with other national and international research bodies and with public and private operators applying data science to their corporate and core business objectives. The aim is to develop specific applications and case studies and direct the Institute’s research towards the most relevant sectors for economy and industry to create a virtuous cycle between study and application in the field, in both the public and private sectors.

For this reason, it also provides training programmes to update and bring management closer to the world of data scientists and to train new professional figures capable of successfully addressing the growing needs of the information society, data processing, and decisions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. A training course in line with the new three-year strategic plan "Lifetime Partner 24: Driving Growth", which has data-driven innovation among its pillars and aims to improve its technical leadership and support future growth by leveraging innovative data analysis skills.

The Institute will work towards creating a new research unit within the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS) network.

The administrative headquarters of the Institute will be at SISSA, in Trieste, and the activities will be carried out at the operating centers of the affiliated universities and other partners as well as at other sites available for the Institute’s activities, including in partnership with other organizations.

The research projects planned in collaboration with Generali include the development of methodologies to combine geophysical and mathematical models with artificial intelligence techniques to improve natural disaster risk forecasts. It will also focus on the development of explanatory techniques to understand the ethical implications of decisions made using complex artificial intelligence models such as deep neural networks. The two joint projects with Generali will create new areas of research and training projects for Group managers aimed at seizing the business opportunities offered by Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

The Chairman of Generali, Gabriele Galateri di Genola, said: "The launch of the new training offer for Business Translator, thanks to the Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, is an example of synergy between the public and private sectors that leverages the very best of the territory, with mutual benefits. We are very pleased to be part of this project, which responds to the new challenges of the modern world and allows us to understand and assess, among other things, emerging risks by recognising interconnections and helping to understand future scenarios. The Institute's establishment represents a further milestone that enriches the Company's 190th anniversary celebrated in 2021”.

The SISSA Director, Andrea Romanino, highlighted: “The 'Business Translator' training initiative, developed in close collaboration with Generali, demonstrates the vocation of the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Institute to catalyze interaction with companies and therefore represents an example of the impact on the territory of fundamental research in data science. The Institute strengthens the regional positioning in the field of Data Science, to which SISSA contributes with the Department of Excellence in Data Science, the new PhD course in Data Science and Theory, the Master in High Performance Computing (in collaboration with ICTP) and the Master's Degree in Data Science and Scientific Computing (in collaboration with the Universities of Trieste and Udine and ICTP).”

The Rector of the University of Trieste, Roberto Di Lenarda, added: “The Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Institute brings together the best of the so-called Trieste System in this field to create scientific and entrepreneurial synergies. The presence of Assicurazioni Generali and the first joint initiatives show the Institute’s potential in terms of opportunities for undergraduate and PhD students as well as in terms of benefits for businesses and the whole region, also at international level. The new ‘business translators’ that will be trained there are an important and often missing element in knowledge transfer. In general, the University of Trieste is investing heavily in the AI and data science sector, offering students the only complete educational pathway in Italy on these subjects, from a Bachelor's Degree to a PhD. We could not fail to enthusiastically support this initiative.”

The Rector of the University of Udine, Roberto Pinton, commented: “The University of Udine has been present for more than 40 years in high-level training and research in computer science. The long experience in teaching and research in this field has led to the creation of an international master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, of the PhD program in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science - this academic year the 37th edition was launched - and to the participation in the national PhD program in Artificial Intelligence. The contribution to the "Business Translator" training initiative, together with Generali and the other regional research institutions belonging to the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Institute, is a further important step in the commitment of the University of Friuli in maintaining a close and constant relationship among teaching, research, and applications in computer science. It constitutes a significant and promising example of fruitful collaboration with a large company in the area.”

The ICTP Director, Atish Dabholkar, underlined: “AI and Data Science have enormous potential for social good and for promoting the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. They are fields at the cutting edge of science, one that is evolving as quickly as the technology it relies on. ICTP is pleased to be a partner of this important Trieste initiative, not only for the exciting discoveries that lie ahead but also for their potential impact on global challenges such as climate change and natural hazards.”

The Dean at MIB Trieste School of Management, Andrea Tracogna, explained: “MIB Trieste School of Management is eager to work alongside outstanding academic and corporate partners and contribute to the success of the Institute by turning the best Data Science and AI models into viable business applications, thus sowing the seeds of the upcoming data-driven revolution in management practices.”