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Italy Launches 1 Billion Euro Investment Fund to Boost AI Projects

 |  March 12, 2024

Italy has unveiled ambitious plans to foster Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation with the establishment of a 1 billion euro investment fund, as announced by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday. The fund, aimed at promoting AI projects, is set to be initiated with an initial endowment of 1 billion euros ($1.09 billion), with the potential to gather an additional 2 billion euros from private sector contributions, according to Agostino Scornajenchi, the CEO of CDP Venture Capital, a unit of state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).

The announcement came during a conference on AI held in Rome, where Meloni and Scornajenchi emphasized the importance of leveraging AI to bolster Italy’s technological advancement. Italy, under Meloni’s leadership, is utilizing its presidency of the Group of Seven major democracies this year to prioritize discussions on the ramifications of AI on employment and inequality. Moreover, the government aims to establish regulatory frameworks to ensure the responsible development of AI technologies.

In a video message, Prime Minister Meloni asserted, “We are convinced that there can and must be an Italian way to artificial intelligence.” She highlighted the government’s commitment to crafting legislation to regulate the AI sector in Italy, which will be introduced in the coming weeks. As part of this legislative initiative, Rome intends to establish a supervisory body tasked with overseeing and facilitating the implementation of the national AI strategy.

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The investment fund signifies Italy’s proactive approach towards nurturing AI innovation and fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors. By providing financial support and regulatory frameworks, the Italian government aims to stimulate the growth of AI projects while ensuring ethical and equitable deployment of AI technologies.

The establishment of the investment fund aligns with global efforts to harness the potential of AI for societal advancement while addressing concerns related to job displacement and societal inequalities. Italy’s initiative underscores its commitment to harnessing AI for the benefit of its citizens and the broader global community, setting a precedent for responsible AI governance and innovation.

Source: Reuters