It’s official: starting from the academic year 2021-2022, the first PhD in artificial intelligence will start in Italy. With a total funding of 15 million euros, the ministry of the University has started the Italian AI research path. A science which, according to the European Commission, will have the same transformative impact on society and industry as in the past produced by the steam engine and electricity.
Cnr and Mur themselves communicated the news, and in March 2019 they had started work on developing the project. The doctorates will start in various universities, which have contributed to the co-financing: at the Sapienza University of Rome, at the Polytechnic of Turin, at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, at the Federico II University of Naples and at the University of Pisa. Currently 194 scholarships are already available: 97 are co-financed by the CNR and 97 by the Mur through the University of Pisa. Classes will begin in November next year, while admission notices will be available in early 2021.
The National Research Council will deal with developing, through a specific committee, a unified strategy through which to coordinate the study of AI at national level. For this task, it received € 4 million from the Mur: the University of Pisa, which will have to implement the strategy developed by the CNR, also received € 3.85 million.
“Artificial intelligence represents one of the high impact sectors that will affect the competitiveness of countries in the near future,” said Minister Gaetano Manfredi. The McKinsey Global Institute, mentioned in the Mur and Cnr document, estimates that by 2030 AI will lead to a 16% growth in world GDP and will have an impact on 70% of companies. “This is a great opportunity for Italy – added the minister – and it must invest in this to have an international role and be able to compete on advanced technologies”.
The courses of the doctorate
The doctoral students, they explain from the ministry, will receive both a “horizontal training”, common to all courses and which focuses on the foundational aspects of AI, and a “vertical training”, which refers to the area of specialization and which changes ongoing. In fact, each university will take care of a specific address inherent to Artificial Intelligence. The thematic areas will be 5:
- PhD-AI.it: Health and life sciences area, coordinated by the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome;
- PhD-AI.it: Agrifood and environment area, coordinated by the University of Naples Federico II;
- PhD-AI.it: Security and cybersecurity area, coordinated by Sapienza University of Rome;
- PhD-AI.it: Industry 4.0 area, coordinated by the Polytechnic of Turin
- PhD-AI.it: Company area, coordinated by the University of Pisa.
Cover image: Franki Chamaki on Unsplash