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


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.”