Thought is not abstract. It does not follow the same variables in New York, Tokyo, London, Riyadh or Rome. He is the son of a territory, of a history, of single and unrepeatable lives and of a language. This applies to humans. Is this also the case for artificial intelligence? The answer is not at all obvious. Machines learn, learn, accumulate data, process it, evolve and redefine the starting algorithms. It’s called “machine learning”. The machine we are dealing with is mostly of Anglo-Saxon origin and with a global vocation. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Open AI’s ChatGpt, Google’s Bard or the Apple project, the roots are more or less the same.
The Italian challenge begins with Leonardo, the supercomputer from the Tecnopolo of Bologna, the one designed by Cineca, the sixth most powerful in the world. He is a superlative brain that now relies on the iGenius data network, which has been moving on the frontier of “machine learning” for almost ten years. This is where Mediterranean artificial intelligence comes from, which for now bears a rather bureaucratic name: “Italy model”. Maybe it’s time to christen it with something more fascinating. Beyond the name, the idea of cultural identity is interesting. The starting point this time is different. Uljan Sharka, founder of iGenius, talks about the meaning of this adventure. «Language models in artificial intelligence have the potential to democratize knowledge. This will only be possible if every country and every language is represented in its pure state. Today the main language models are trained on English language. And so they carry with them the cultural prejudices of the English language. When they reach the general public and are used daily by billions of people, they will spread those prejudices.” Artificial intelligence would start with a Protestant ethic, with the vision of life that according to Max Weber led to the birth of capitalism. The Italian one would have a Catholic morality and at the same time a Renaissance outlook: providence, forgiveness and beauty.
Language is not neutral. It is the expression of a civilization. It is a way of seeing the world, of reasoning, of relating. It’s a character. It is an approach to the things of the world. ChatGpt thinks in English and compares itself with the rest of humanity by translating his thoughts. «Lost in translation» is more than probable. Sofia Coppola’s film, with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, basically talks about sentimental education, about understanding and recognizing each other and about clarifying what we’re talking about when we talk about love. Here, artificial intelligence cannot do without codes.
What will an Italian artificial intelligence be like? You can imagine her as Qfwfq, the hero of Cosmicomiche and Ti con zero by Italo Calvino. He is as old as the universe and over time he remembers having lived infinite lives, reincarnating without forgetting. He has experience of everything, because he has been present in everything, already conscious before consciousness itself existed, he does not have his own form but can take on all forms, and he tells the great events of the cosmos as if they were fairy tales. His secret: it is not global, but universal,