Genetic diversity allows species to adapt to changes in the environment; production diversity allows economies to adapt to changes in market dynamics; social and cultural diversity fuel societal progress. Diversity is the key distinguishing feature of life: there will never be two identical moments, two identical places, or two identical individuals.
In the past two decades, the Internet, globalization and the emergence of global digital platforms have transformed our lives and exponentially increased the possibility, for all of us, to get exposed to new people, speaking different languages, with different knowledge, cultures and traditions. This increased exposure to the diversity of humankind provides us with an unprecedented wealth of opportunities for learning and innovation, while, at the same time, forcing us to confront our limited capability to understand and absorb such richness. We believe that the ongoing digital globalization of social interactions will cause a singularity in the development of society.
The main goal of WeNet is to empower diversity- and privacy-aware social relations across the world. WeNet will build on the results and ideas developed through the Smart Society FET project and will develop a platform enabling interactions among people in ways that transcend geographical, social and cultural backgrounds.
WeNet will use machine-learning algorithms to build user-profiles based on a privacy- and ethics-aware analysis of their behaviors. The profiles will then be matched to positively exploit the diversity of users, enabling them to help one another. By connecting people from diverse backgrounds and skillsets, WeNet will support them in ways which are far beyond what is possible today. The ultimate goal, the person-to-the-moon dream of WeNet, would be to make it possible for everybody to access the best expertise available on the planet to achieve common objectives.
The WeNet platform will be used to deploy a series of pilot studies within universities worldwide with the goal of improving the students’ quality of life.
The WeNet consortium is highly diversified, mixing competences in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Ethics, Sociology and Psychology. Consortium partners represent cultures from all over the world, including from Europe, Israel, India, Mongolia, Paraguay, Mexico and China. The consortium of 15 partners is led by Prof Fausto Giunchiglia, from the University of Trento. One of the WeNet goals is the creation of a non-profit organization to guarantee the long-term sustainability of WeNet ideas.
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