Publishing, the robotic Bruno Siciliano warns: “Robots and AI do not replace man”

Neither Artificial Intelligence nor robots “can ever replace the creative genius of which many human beings are endowed” and this “applies in every field from surgery to designers and, therefore, also applies to the world of media” and publishing. The scientist Bruno Siciliano, one of the most active and internationally important Italian robotics, is convinced of this, conversing with Adnkronos on the new technologies that are entering the perimeter of the media. In information, Siciliano affirms, “neither humanoids nor systems based on Artificial Intelligence will ever be able to replace or reproduce the creativity and genius of which many journalists are endowed”. “An Artificial Intelligence algorithm cannot be a replacement technology for the journalist but only a ‘support’ for the world of information” explains the professor of Automatics at the Federico II University, founder of the historic Prisma Lab in the Neapolitan university and director of Icaros, the interdepartmental center for robotic surgery. Siciliano – coordinator of the ministerial group appointed by Mur to draw up the chapter on robotics of the National Research Plan 2021-2027 – argues that “if there is an algorithm, a software that makes a targeted and smart search of data then the role of the robot in the media and information world it can be useful “. But, he adds, “I do not think it possible to replace a human being, a journalist in this case, with a machine to entrust with a strategic job such as the search for reliable news, the verification of a source or a critical debate on a fact or event. “. The Neapolitan robotics moves on to the example of “Google translators who have reached a more than good level but a quick translation must then be followed by an evaluation and a correct interpretation of the translated text”. Therefore, “the ‘robot translator’ can only be a support, a starting point for the person who will then create a text. In short, I would not ‘lock myself’ into something written by a machine”. And this, he explains, “because what is written by a machine cannot do justice to the personal intention of a professional to disseminate information, make decisions or take responsibility. Nor can it intervene on the genius and creativity that are qualities. to this day still the prerogative of the human being – therefore of a journalist – and which I do not think can ever be replicated in full by a machine “. Among the promoters of the I-Rim, the Italian Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines whose many stakeholders of Italian robotics converge from researchers to industrial technologists, Bruno Siciliano reminds us that “even in surgery – let’s think for example of the surgical system from Vinci by Intuitive Surgical – robots are used that allow surgeons to perform less invasive operations but these robots do not have an executive role, do not give any feedback to the surgeon and do not interact with him “. “In our lab – he emphasizes – we are studying how to increase the level of autonomy of the ‘robot surgeons’, that is, how to allow the robot to interact with the surgeon, but the decision and responsibility for the intervention always remains with the doctor, that is the person who signs. ‘the operation: the deontological aspect cannot be replaced by a machine either in the operating room or in a newspaper “. “In our lab – the professor still remembers – we had for example the Italian Pier Cristoforo Giulianotti, Director of the Robotic Surgery Unit at the University of Illinois in Chicago, considered the greatest expert in robotic surgery in the world, one of our brain fled abroad “. “On that occasion – Siciliano reports – Giulianotti showed us a robotic surgery on the pancreas, one of the most complex operations that requires strategy and which can last up to 10 hours. But the operation was not carried out by the robot: the operation it is always elaborated, understood, managed by the surgeon and the success of the intervention is always the fruit of human genius “. “And this is true for the doctor as well as for the journalist or the designer” he continues. In short, “the algorithm of an Artificial Intelligence system cannot write an article in the place of a journalist and also take responsibility for it: every professional has his own style, but what a robot could certainly do – as all professionals often mock. in the press room – is to resume the answers of a footballer or a coach in the traditional post-game conference “jokes Siciliano who defines himself as” a football fan perhaps even more than robotics “and who likes to remember that he is” a die-hard fan of Naples”. But if robots never ‘replace’ humans, it is true that they can be a driver for many human activities and their presence in Italian industries “has been a success”. The “Enterprise 4.0 program – indicates the Italian robotics – was a winning choice not only to bring automation and new technologies to industry” but also because “it gave birth to a new generation of SMEs, startups or university spin-offs innovative “. In taking stock of the Italian Industry 4.0 process and of the National Business Plan 4.0, Siciliano recalls that “it is a program born in Germany and also replicated in our country” and explains that “in robotics a crucial role is played by system integrators : small industrial groups able to develop ‘turnkey’ robot solutions, therefore able to integrate different technologies and provide a robotic solution to the reference industry “. Many “Campania industrial excellences in this sector” remembered by Siciliano and which move within the perimeter of Impresa 4.0, excellence, highlights the Neapolitan robotics, which are located “in the area between Marcianise and Nola and which implement technology for Industry 4.0 to all effects”. “But what I would like to see – he continues – is a greater ferment in the field of research and I, as an academic, tend to look forward, so I would like a ‘Enterprise 5.0’ to take off, a ‘Enterprise 6.0’ but we have time for these further steps even if I would like the new goals to be cut first in Italy “. Finally, the scientist notes that “the Industry 4.0 investment paid off in our country because it allowed all the SMEs in the sector to grow and become a system integrator”. “To date many of these small made in Italy companies work in fact for giants such as FCA, Boeing or Rolls Royce and I see a very, very lively induced and industrial development” finally comments Siciliano who ‘promotes’ the program “with flying colors”. of incentives launched by the government in the 2020 Budget Law and which consolidated the transition process of Italian companies towards the 4.0 paradigm. (by Andreana d’Aquino)

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