WeNet at European AI Alliance Assembly and  WOA 2019

Martel Innovate, member of the WeNet consortium, had the chance to participate in two European events focussed on Artificial Intelligence, both relevant to the project’s scope and main objectives. On June 26, Dr. Monique Calisti (CEO of Martel) and Dr. Giovanni Rimassa (Chief Innovation Officer) attended the First European AI Alliance Assembly at The EGG conference center in Brussels, Belgium.

Highlights of the event, under the patronage of the European Commission, were the achievement of two important milestones in the work of the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG). Firstly, the Policy and Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy AI were delivered in the hands of Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, and made available on the day. Secondly, the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, published on April 8 this year, entered a piloting process, where stakeholders from several domains and industries are able to step forward and assess the guidelines; the process includes an open survey, in-depth interviews (“deep dives”), and continuous commentary upload through the European AI Alliance. All gathered feedback will allow better understanding and further improvement of the guidelines themselves.

The strong commitment to citizens’ interest, ethical guidance and European values was summarized in the notion of trustworthy AI. The published ethics guidelines and the associated assessment process resonate strongly with the goals and approach of WeNet:

  • One of the seven core requirements for ethical, trustworthy AI is Diversity, non-discrimination, and fairness: in perfect agreement with WeNet’s core value proposition.
  • Another core requirement from the guidelines considers Human agency and oversight. This point can be summed up as “AI systems should empower human beings, allowing them to make informed decisions and fostering their fundamental rights”, which is another extremely good match for WeNet platform’s ultimate goal to “empower machine mediated diversity-aware people interactions”.
  • The clear focus on ethics and the multidisciplinary approach of the European Commission and the AI HLEG also provides the perfect landscape for the approach, methodology, and impact strategy adopted by the WeNet consortium.

The following day, June 27, Dr Rimassa was in Parma, Italy,  to deliver the keynote speech at the 20th Workshop “From Object to Agents” (WOA 2019). WOA is an academic gathering of the Italian research community in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Multi-agent Systems, and Agent-oriented Software Engineering, supported by the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AI*IA). The keynote covered two complementary sides of the multi-agent paradigm: as a software architecture blueprint and as a collaborative, multi-disciplinary problem solving approach.

From the software architecture angle, some examples from 1999, 2009, and 2019 were given in order to celebrate twenty years of the WOA event; moving on to the collaborative approach of multi-agent systems, some research and application examples were brought forth. The WeNet project was discussed as a current, forward-looking endeavour that ticks both boxes: the envisaged platform architecture shares and improves on agent-oriented software engineering ideas, whereas the consortium and the project itself smoothly combine computer science, sociology, ethics and engineering to achieve technical excellence and human benefit.

To stay updated to WeNet news and developments, subscribe to our newsletter http://bit.ly/WeNet_subscribe