CINI – Laboratory for Informatics and Society

Status: 
ongoing
Period: 
April 2016 - present
Funding: 
N/A
Funding organization: 

N/A

Executive summary: 

CINI – Laboratory for Informatics and Society is the laboratory of the Italian National Inter-University Consortium for Informatics. It fosters research collaborations between Italian Universities for supporting policy making in understanding and governing the digital revolution.

Background: 

The CINI - Italian National Inter-University Consortium for Informatics (https://www.consorzio-cini.it/index.php/en/) includes 10 national laboratories and 44 public Italian Universities, involving 1.300+ teachers in the scientific disciplinary sectors of Informatics and Computer Engineering. It promotes and coordinates scientific activities - research and technology transfer - in the field of computer science, in concert with the national scientific communities of reference.

Objectives: 

The CINI - Laboratory for Informatics and Society (LabIS), founded and directed by Prof. Juan Carlos De Martin (until December 2019), includes 16 Nodes distributed throughout the national territory and corresponding to as many Universities consortiumed in the CINI (https://www.consorzio-cini.it/index.php/it/home-informatica-e-societa/organizzazione-e-nodi); each Node is directed by a coordinator and includes teachers and researchers. The LabIS aims at contributing to the national efforts in understanding and governing the digital revolution across several strategic sectors, from the economy to public administration, from geopolitics to education. The research topics addressed in the Laboratory of Informatics and Society concern the following macro areas: digital divide (infrastructural, cultural and economic), digital economy and competition, digital policy-making, automation and work, digital and education, privacy and human rights, ethical, legal, social and epistemological aspects of big data, net and platform neutrality.

Results: 

Between 2016 and 2017, the Nexa Center supported the birth of the laboratory, its network and first activities, guiding the affiliation path to the LabIS of each node, creating, managing and animating its official mailing list, building a wiki-platform (https://infsocieta-wiki.nexacenter.org/view/Main_Page) that collects and connect knowledge, project, people, resources from the world of LabIS. The effort has been culminated in the organisation of the 1st annual event of the CINI - Laboratory for Informatics and Society held in Torino on December 18th, 2017 as part of the 9° Nexa Conference entitled “Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence" (https://nexa.polito.it/conf2017). In addition, the LabIS collaborated with the Nexa Center to the organisation of the panel "Internet, Industry and Society" within the IEEE COMPSAC 2017 Conference held in Turin from 4 to 8 July 2017. A panel which was attended by one of the world's leading scholars on digital issues, Prof. Yochai Benkler of Harvard University.
Between 2018 and 2019, the Nexa Center contributed (Antonio Santangelo) to draft to the Ethic Code of CINI - Italian National Inter-University Consortium for Informatics and participated (Giuseppe Futia) to Ital-IA (http://www.ital-ia.it/), the first CINI National Conference on Artificial Intelligence held in Rome in March 2019 and organized by the CINI Laboratory on Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems (AIIS) to develop and share common objectives between Italian public institutions, industry and universities.
From January 2020 the CINI - Laboratory for Informatics and Society has a new director: Prof. Viola Schiaffonati, Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria of Politecnico di Milano. The Nexa Center remains one of the active Nodes of the network.

Related Publications: