The Italian government has appointed a former prime minister to lead the country’s artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, angering many who argue his 85-year-old age should disqualify him from the role.
“Under this government, we are becoming a country that cannot take our young people into account, a dinosaurocracy stuck to an outdated and conservative vision,” said MP Emma Pavanelli in response to the appointment of Giuliano Amato as head of Artificial Intelligence. Algorithms Committee.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was not informed of the appointment and said she was “irritated” by the development, according to the Telegraph.
Italy earlier this year banned the use of ChatGPT in the country amid concerns about user data and the site’s processes, but the decision was later reversed.
Italian newspaper Il Tempo asked why Italy appointed the elderly Amato while other nations, such as the United Kingdom, appointed younger, more experienced experts to lead similar initiatives. The publication claimed that Amato’s appointment left “many” people “stunned”.
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The Algorithms Committee will conduct exploratory research into the new technology and determine the “positive and negative” effects of its use, particularly in “publication and information.” The committee includes 10 people, including a research director at the Center for Artificial Intelligence, the director of the CNR Institute for Networks and High Performance Computing, and university professors and other experts.
Those experts will now have to answer to Amato, whose appointment reportedly happened because of a “communication mix-up,” according to the undersecretary of the Technology Innovation Council presidency. He apologized for making the appointment without informing Meloni.
Members of parliament have questioned Amato’s information technology credentials, with newspaper La Stampa questioning whether Amato knows “what an algorithm is”.
“Will she be able to Google it?” the post asked.
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“Why not appoint a new one, there are many capable ones,” the newspaper wrote. “That’s easy to answer – because in Italy we suffer from Albus Dumbledore syndrome.”
This was a reference to the headmaster of Harry Potter’s school, Hogwarts.
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The Telegraph reported that Meloni’s party and the opposition Forza Italia party, which nominated Amato for the role, had a “strained” relationship after allegations that the party was involved in creating a scandal for the prime minister revolving around her husband, presenter on a channel. from the Mediaset Group.
The company was owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was also a member of Forza Italia until his death in June.