The National Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence addresses a central theme for the digital transformation of society. Its objective is to mobilize the national community towards a comprehensive educational path centered around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and to stimulate research and industrial and social innovation in the country.
The National Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence is part of a federation of five Ph.D. programs in AI across the country. Each program is organized by a lead university and a broad consortium of universities and research institutions. The National Ph.D. programs in AI share a common foundation focused on the fundamental aspects of AI that underlie emerging technologies transforming our society. They also offer five vertical specialization areas that aim to deepen knowledge in specific application domains, promoting multidisciplinary research:
- Health and life sciences, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma
- Agricolture (agrifood) and environment, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
- Security and cybersecurity, Sapienza Università di Roma
- Industry, Politecnico di Torino
- Society, Università di Pisa
The general objectives of the National Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence are:
- Build a community of young researchers specialized in the complex world of AI, promoting their distribution at both territorial and disciplinary levels.
- Foster multidisciplinary exchange of experiences among the network nodes through periods of educational and research mobility for the Ph.D. candidates.
- Integrate and strengthen the Italian network of AI research centers, aligning with the European program ICT-48-H2020 "Towards a vibrant European network of AI excellence centers" and the European strategy for AI development.
Specifically, the three-year program of the Italian National Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence for Industry, coordinated by Politecnico di Torino, aims to provide post-graduate training for researchers, innovators, and professionals specializing in state-of-the-art AI methodologies and high-impact industrial application sectors. The Ph.D. program ensures an integrated and "complex" view of the AI technology and solution ecosystem, enabling the addressing of social challenges through a systemic and multidisciplinary approach.
The astonishing advancements in AI and robotics are profoundly and irreversibly transforming the industrial system at an unprecedented pace. The disruptive impact on all industry sectors and the economy stems from AI's ability to drive a radical transformation of digital and physical systems, making them increasingly interconnected and capable of intelligent interaction and collaboration. Italy, with its resources and potential, needs to advance both basic and applied research in AI and translate the obtained results into strategic sectors for the industry. This will optimize the growth potential that the introduction of these new technologies can bring to the national industry.
Preventive maintenance and diagnostics, next-generation automated quality control, intelligent production and adaptive management, demand-driven production, and distributed intelligence in systems based on IoT and edge/fog paradigms are key themes of Industry 4.0. Crucial aspects such as machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, planning, and reasoning are essential to maintain the global competitiveness of the Italian industry. Simultaneously, applied research in these areas will lead to the training of AI experts ready to enter the workforce and be immediately valued—a demand that currently exceeds supply worldwide.