Parliamentarians in artificial intelligence class

Parliamentarians in artificial intelligence class

Yesterday in Parliament, while the clash over the ESM, European policies and the opaque conduct of a minister raged under the spotlights, in a more secluded room a small group of parliamentarians, led by the vice president of the Chamber, Anna Ascani, was by video conference with San Francisco. On the other side of the video was one of the managers of OpenAI, the startup that developed ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence that everyone has been talking about for months, oscillating between wonder and panic.

From the audition no particular news has emerged, according to reports: in fact the usual things have been repeated, namely that artificial intelligence needs rules and will not have to replace human beings. Principles on which we all agree, the problems will emerge when we get into the merits of things. But this hearing is still an important moment. It is part of a series of cognitive meetings started in April and which will conclude in the autumn with a mission to San Francisco. And it is important that politics try to understand what is happeningnot repeating the clamorous delays of when the Web and then social networks arrived and those who were in the palaces of power looked at these innovations while completely ignoring their revolutionary significance.

This time politics seems to have woken up in time, not only in Italy: when the founder of OpenAI was heard by Congress American, someone remarked that it was the first time that a hearing to a technology company was held before a disaster broke out; meanwhile, the European Parliament has already proposed a package of rules to regulate everything. In short, the hearings of the Ascani Commission are in line with what is happening elsewhere and are a good sign.

What what Italy lacks is a strategy for investing in artificial intelligence, to create national champions, which do not exist, in order not to become only consumers of foreign technological products. To be honest, it must be said that the problem also existed with the previous governments and the allocation of Pnrr resources confirms this. But it's now that we could change things: Instead of waving sovereignty at random, one would be enough common sense industrial policy that included the word future in the made in Italy.

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