Climate change: can AI save us?

Technological development and climate change: the role of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly changing the way we work, live and face the challenges of contemporary society. Some good examples already come from its successful application into the quality improvement of healthcare, the optimization of business processes and resource management, and the reduction of production wastes. This is the era of the AI models and, if properly trained, they can be a new important companion for humans to best handle climate change, thus minimize polluting emissions, reduce waste and cut down the negative environmental impact.

Therefore, artificial intelligence can help people and companies to approach the consume of energy more intelligently and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fully joining and participating in the activating for climate change.

The climate crisis is surely one of the greatest challenges of our time, with a significant impact on our lives already. Global warming is causing extreme weather phenomena more and more frequently, such as heat waves and droughts, but also increasingly intense storms. This is not just a question of weather conditions, but above all a serious threat for the survival of several animal and plant species, for example with the raise of sea levels and the consequent destruction of whole natural habitats and loss of biodiversity.

In addition to this, there are also many social, economic and political factors that might be significantly negative and impactful for the environment, like mass migrations and conflicts due to the shortage of food and water, the impoverishment of the most vulnerable communities in developing countries, the growing gap between richer and poorer countries, the increase in social inequalities, the spread of new diseases directly related to air pollution (especially respiratory and cardiovascular), and the loss of workforce in agriculture and fishing, the most affected sectors by climate change.

It’s really time to seriously take action and prevent potential irreversible damage, preserving the balance of the planet and guaranteeing a sustainable future for future generations. To achieve this key mission for humanity, it’s essential to leverage the power of new technologies, like artificial intelligence, to hinder and mitigate climate change undertaking the path towards environmental sustainability.

How can artificial intelligence help hinder climate change?

According to data from the State of Science Index 2023, the annual survey carried out by 3M to check the perception of science at a global level, the majority of respondents within the 17 countries involved in the research (US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, India, China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia) feel confident to science and technology and believe in the great potential of AI in building a more sustainable future, generating a positive impact on daily life as well.

According to the UN analysis, artificial intelligence can help reduce environmental impact and promote sustainability in several ways. Let’s check them out:

  • Weather forecast

According to World Meteorological Organization (WMO), AI-based technologies provide disruptive capabilities to process huge volumes of data, extract useful and detailed insights and improve the predictive models. This means increasing the possibility to predict potential extreme weather events, enabling authorities to take security measures in advance and mitigate all the consequent damages, which is especially saving lives and reducing economic losses. The use of more accurate data can change the impact that natural disasters have on people and economies.

A useful example that shows the key role of technology is the MyAnga application that helps shepherds in Kenya prepare above all for drought events: data from worldwide weather stations and satellites are easily and quickly made available to herders via mobile phones, so they can take proper actions to be ready for when the weather phenomenon occurs, managing livestock and saving time searching for green pastures.

  • Disaster prevention

As extreme weather events occur with greater frequency and intensity, artificial intelligence can help communities around the world better prepare for climate disasters and reduce their impacts. In fact, AI-based tools identify high-risk areas and better shape local and national response plans: for example, in the case of landslide-prone areas AI is capable of mapping the territory in detail, supporting authorities to plan and implement sustainable development measures, reduce risks and ensure the safety of people and things.

According to WMO, which operates a disaster risk reduction program and early warning system serving countries and humanitarian agencies, AI is already having an impactful role in the improvement of accuracy of weather forecasts and reduction of disaster risks. AI is also a fundamental part of the project Early Warnings for All, the plan aiming to protect all Earth’s inhabitants from weather disasters through early warning systems by the end of 2027.

  • Pollution tracking

Susceptibility mapping based on AI can support local governments make decisions to improve public health and urban resilience. Furthermore, this technology can effectively enhance urban planning and traffic, as well as waste management, thus making cities more sustainable and livable.

  • Carbon neutrality

The world’s approach to carbon neutrality could be revolutionized by AI, introducing an era of intelligent sustainability on a global scale as it becomes increasingly urgent to find solution to hinder (and prevent) Earth’s warming.

To minimize the environmental impact and maximize the resources consumption efficiency, properly train of AI algorithms can play a key role in the mission of achieving the global goal of clean and accessible energy for all by 2030 (SDG-7), with the optimization of networks and renewable sources. Another relevant option is given by AI-powered predictive maintenance, which can help reduce downtime in energy production and so cut down the planet’s carbon footprint.

  • Fast fashion

Fashion is a sector with a negative record in terms of high emissions and environmental impact, a $2.4 trillion global industry employing around 300 million people across its value chain (many of whom are women), and expected to scale up and grow more and more in future.

According to the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, given its massive size and global reach, unsustainable practices within the fashion industry have a deeply major impact on social and environmental development indicators. A tough situation which, without significant changes in the production processes and consumption patterns, is going to get worse with the increase of pollution, emissions and wastes. And so, the increase of this industry’s social and environmental costs.

This is where artificial intelligence can save the fashion industry, with the adoption of AI-driven innovation to optimize supply chains, reduce waste, monitor resource consumption, promote green transition and implement sustainable manufacturing processes based on the acceleration on renewable energy and recycling.

Fast food

Agriculture, breed farming and food industry represent other relevant high-emitting sectors, responsible for 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

From large companies to small farmers, everyone faces extreme weather phenomena like aggressive and massive storms, water shortage or land degradation. AI can change this, giving help to optimize work, reduce waste and minimize the environmental impact of food production chains.

AI-driven smart grids and tools can balance supply and demand, facilitating the integration of renewable energy systems and reducing dependence on fossil fuels: this is going to be crucially important for building climate resilient, efficient and sustainable agri-food systems with proper adaptability to climate change challenges.

Carbon footprint of AI: the environmental costs of artificial intelligence

As the use of artificial intelligence grows it appears clear that this powerful technology is already improving our lives, increasing productivity and tackling the most pressing challenges of this age like climate change. But, it is important to consider its footprint carbon, too.

In fact, as happens with any other technology that requires large amounts of energy, AI has its own environmental impact and generates a significant carbon footprint. From the huge amounts of data needed to train the models by feeding them with new and improved information, to the energy resources that they need to operate, the overall carbon footprint of AI is quite difficult to measure. However, clearly this process is environmentally costly.

First of all, the costs for the production of hardware (devices enabling AI like computers, smartphones, smartwatches, etc.), considering above all that it requires the processing of raw materials which generate pollution to be extracted and worked. Then, when hardware is ready, for what concerns software developers need considerable power consumption for the training of AI models, which translates into more wastes.

For example, in an interview with The Markupcomputer engineer Shaolei Ren revealed that training GPT-3 in Microsoft’s cutting-edge US data centers can consume 700,000 liters of clean fresh water, which is enough to produce 370 BMW cars or 320 Tesla electric vehicles. And if the training had been carried out in Microsoft’s data centers in Asia, water consumption would have probably tripled.

Considering what users can do, instead (for example having a conversation with the ChatGPT software), the study shows this very popular tool needs approximately 500 ml of water to generate a short conversation made of 20 to 50 questions and answers, depending especially on when and where the model is used. Given ChatGPT’s huge user base around the world, the total water footprint generated can be massive and this is not good for the health of our planet.

What is the Digital Services Act 2024?

What is the Digital Services Act 2024?

From 17 February, 2024, the EU Regulation 2022/2065, better known as Digital Services Act (DSA), approved by the European Parliament and the Council on 19 October, 2022, finally came into force and will apply to all digital services platforms. The Commission will enforce the law together with national and local authorities, in order to best supervise the compliance of the platforms established in their territory.

A definition for the Digital Services Act (DSA)

Since August 2023, many digital platforms have already begun to change their systems and interfaces according to the new instructions of the Digital Services Act (DSA), providing a safer online experience for everybody. But what is this regulation about?

The best definition for the Digital Services Act would be that DSA is the worldwide most important and ambitious regulation for what concerns the protection of users’ fundamental rights and the battle against illegal or harmful content, making digital spaces safer and better places. There is no other legislative act in the world having this same level of ambition to regulate the activity run onto social media, online marketplaces, very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs).

More specifically, the Digital Services Act regulates both online intermediaries and platforms, so both Internet services providers and online services spaces (such as marketplaces, social networks, content-sharing platforms, app stores, online travel and accommodation platforms, and much more).

What is the purpose of the Digital Services Act?

The main goal of the Digital Services Act is to prevent and hinder illegal and harmful activities online, like the spread of unlawful content and misinformation. DSA also aims to ensure users safety, by protecting their fundamental rights, enhancing the trust of privacy and security measures and building a fair, open online environment.

The come into effect of the Digital Services Act represents another important step forward to the shaping of Europe’s future, embracing the social and cultural innovation related to digitization. As a matter of fact, a regulation like DSA originates precisely from the need to make digital transformation a streamlined and safer process for everybody in Europe, citizens, companies and public institutions.

For example, just think about the unfolding of the development works regarding the EU Digital Identity Wallet, one of the main outcome related to the European digital strategy for the upcoming years.

Who will benefit from the Digital Services Act?

This new European regulation will provide significant benefits for all the parties involved into the digital society and the digital economy dimensions. Let’s check them out:

  • Benefits for citizens: better protection of fundamental rights, more control and choice, stronger protection of children online and less exposure to illegal content;
  • Benefits for digital services users: access to EU-wide markets through platforms and level-playing field against providers of illegal content;
  • Benefits for digital services providers: legal certainty and a single set of rules across the EU, easier to start-up and scale-up in the whole continent;
  • Benefits for society as a whole: greater democratic control and oversight on systemic platforms and the mitigation of public security risks, like manipulation or misinformation.

Who will be affected from the Digital Services Act?

The rules included in the Digital Services Act will be applied to all the players involved in the production and distribution of online services used by millions of Europeans everyday. Each online player’s obligations will match its role, size and impact.

The subjects affected from the Digital Services Act, therefore, include intermediary services (like Internet providers), hosting services (like clouding and web hosting), and standard online platforms (like online marketplaces, app stores, collaborative economy spaces and social networks).

But, at the top of the hierarchy, there are the so called very large online platforms (VLOPs) and search engines (VLOSEs), counting over 45 million users in Europe: we’re talking about big companies like Amazon, Apple, Booking, Facebook, Google or TikTok.

How does Digital Services Act work?

The Digital Services Act significantly improves the mechanisms for the removal of illegal or harmful content and for the effective protection of users’ rights online, like the freedom of speech. It also creates a stronger public oversight system for digital platforms, especially for those that reach more than 10% of the EU’s population on a daily basis.

Inparticular, very large online platforms must comply with the most strict rules of the DSA, as they have to:

  • establish a point of contact for authorities and users;
  • report criminal public and private offenses;
  • arrange user-friendly terms and conditions;
  • be transparent about advertising, recommendation systems and content moderation.

Moreover, they’re committed to assess the risks about illegal and harmful content, fundamental rights (like the freedom of expression and media pluralism), discrimination, racism and gender-based violence, consumers protection, minor’s rights and protection, public security and health, mental and physical well-being, and electoral processes.

The right to be forgotten according to GDPR

The right to be forgotten according to GDPR

The right to be forgotten: what is it and how does it work?

In a hyper-connected digital society, where sharing information is increasingly easier, faster, and even necessary, the right to be forgotten is key to protect one’s privacy and preserve one’s online reputation on a long term.

This particular form of guarantee is regulated by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), effectively operational since May 2018, which introduced specific guidelines for the protection of personal data and respect for privacy.

The right to erasure allows individuals to reques tauthorities the removal of their personal data from search engines and other websites by contacting directly the site manager or the company that legally holds the data.

As indicated in GDPR’s Article 17, this is a reinforced form of the right to the cancellation of personal data. Indeed, the data controller, who has made public specific information related to the interested party by publishing them on a website, must inform of the data cancellation request also other owners who process the same data requested to be erased, including any link, copy or replication.

The data owner is the natural or legal person who decides data processing purposes and methods, while the data controller is the person who processes data and information on behalf of the owner. The data subject, instead, is the natural person, thus the interested party, to whom the personal data refer. Therefore, in the case of the right to be forgotten, the interested party can request the complete deletion of personal data from the owner or data controller.

According to GDPR’s Article 4, a general definition of personal data concerns “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’), while an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person”.

Let’s think about a quick and simple example: if a user decides to delete a social media profile, but only later realizes that personal identifiable information, like a complete name or a profile photo, are still present online, standing by the right to be forgotten the user would have the right to request from the company who owns and manages the social network platform to erase that data from search engines permanently.

When can you exercise the right to be forgotten?

EU Regulation 2016/679 establishes that the interested party has the right to request and obtain from the data controller the total deletion of personal data.

This is possible if specific conditions clarified in Article 17 of the GDPR occur:

  • personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;
  • the interested party revokes the consent to the processing of personal data and there is no other legal basis allowing the processing;
  • the interested party disagrees with the processing and there is no overriding legitimate reason to proceed with that;
  • personal data were processed unlawfully, with no consent or breaking legal terms;
  • personal data must be erased complying with legal obligations under EU or Member State law to which the data controller is subject;
  • personal data were collected for information purposes, in relation to the offer of information society services.

Hence, in short, personal data must be deleted if:

  • they are no longer necessary for the purposes of the processing for which they were initially collected;
  • the interested party revokes the authorization to the processing of the individual information;
  • they have been processed disrespecting legal terms, specified by data processing contracts and obligations, especially according to EU or Member State law.

This translates into the commitment of data controller to delete personal data that were made public, taking into account the available technology todo it and its costs. Furthermore, the data controller must take reasonable measures to inform the responsible of the processing of the personal data about the explicit request of the interested party to remove any link, copy or reproduction of personal data and information.

What are the exceptions to the right to be forgotten?

The right to be forgotten cannot always be exercised successfully by the interested party. In fact, within particular situations, there are exceptions provided for by the GDPR.

So, the right to be forgotten can’t be applied if the processing of data is necessary:

  • for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and information;
  • for the fulfillment of a legal obligation or task that requires data processing provided for by EU or Member State law to which the data controller is subject;
  • for public interest purposes, especially for what concerns public health, scientific or historical research, or statistical purposes;
  • for the verification, exercise or defense of a right in court.

AI avatars: features and applications

AI avatars: features and applications

AI avatars, the brainchild of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) development, aim to transform the way users navigate the digital environment. In fact, these dynamic personalized virtual representations go beyond static profile pictures or simple classic avatars, as they can perfectly mimic the counterpart’s facial expressions and behavior and even engage in natural language conversations. In this article, we will explore the features of AI avatars and their best applications in different industries.

What are AI avatars?

AI avatars are computer-generated characters that represent real individuals and use artificial intelligence to simulate human-like characteristics and interactions. These avatars can be 2D or 3D and are often equipped with natural language processing capabilities, allowing them to understand and respond to user input in real time. They can be programmed to have specific personalities, voices, and appearances, making them highly customizable for different use cases.

AI avatars rely on a combination of technologies technologies powered by artificial intelligence, including natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and speech recognition. NLP enables the avatars to correctly understand and interpret human language, while machine learning allows them to improve their responses over time based on user interactions; speech recognition, instead, enables the avatars to process spoken language and respond accordingly, adding a relevant cognitive layer of natural interaction to the user experience.

What are the features of AI avatars?

AI avatars boast a unique set of specific features that really put a clear distance from the old-school static avatars and empower them to innovate the digital interaction between systems and users. Let’s check out the core representative features of AI avatars:

  • Customization: AI avatars offer a stunning degree of personalization. Users can tailor multiple aspects of their virtual personas, like facial features, hairstyles, clothing and accessories, making a truly unique self-representation that perfectly reflects their individuality both from physical and behavioral perspectives;
  • Animation: AI avatars go beyond the limitations of static images, as they can be animated to display a range of facial expressions, adding a sense of dynamism and realism to their interactions. This ability to mimic human counterparts fosters a more engaging and natural experience, akin to interacting with a real person;
  • Text-to-Speech (TTS): AI avatars have the ability to communicate verbally and can deliver pre-written scripts, respond to user prompts, and even adapt their tone of voice and language in order to create a more interactive and immersive experience (e.g. a language learning platform leveraging AI avatars as virtual tutors to engage with in conversational practice, providing personalized feedback on pronunciation);
  • Technological Integration: AI avatars capabilities constantly expand through their integration with other AI-powered technologies and tools that empower these advanced virtual avatars with human like cognitive abilities. For example, sentiment analysis software can be incorporated to enable AI avatars to provide tailor-made responses based on the user’s emotional state, creating more involving and empathetic interactions (e.g. a virtual therapist can use an avatar equipped with sentiment analysis to improve the listening of user’s concerns analyzing their emotional tone, too).

What are AI avatars used for?

The potential uses of AI avatars are vast and constantly evolving. As a matter of fact, they can be used in a variety of applications, promising to transform multiple aspects of digital life. Here are some of the most significant industries where AI avatars are implemented:

  • Education: AI avatars can act as virtual tutors or companions, providing personalized learning experiences and brand new practice opportunities (e.g. an AI avatar, equipped with the specific knowledge, can support students explaining theories and concepts in a simple way and helping them solving a complex math problem or practicing a language);
  • Customer Service: AI avatars revolutionized customer service with the possibility to offer 24/7 customer support, ensuring an efficient service across the e-commerce platforms. They can be set to answer frequently asked questions, troubleshoot technical issues, personalize recommendations and streamline operations;
  • Healthcare: AI avatars can provide medical information and guidance on health-related queries into healthcare websites and applications, personalize healthcare support and help in triaging patients by assessing their symptoms, directing them to the appropriate medical resources;
  • Accessibility: AI avatars can bridge the digital divide, promoting inclusivity and empowering individuals with disabilities to interact with the online world seamlessly (e.g. individuals with visual disability can benefit from text-to-speech support, while individuals with speech impairments can synthesize speech from text input);
  • Entertainment, Gaming and Media: AI avatars made their mark in the entertainment industry, offering gamers personalized characters and a more immersive overall gaming experience, enabling AI avatar companions to evolve alongside the player, adapting to several play-styles and offering strategic advice. For what concerns media, AI avatars can be used for interactive storytelling, virtual hosts, and additional immersive experiences to engage audiences through dynamic conversations, live performances, and interactive narratives;
  • Metaverse: as the virtual reality advances, AI avatars are expected to play a key role in shaping the way how users interact and present themselves within these virtual spaces. In the Metaverse, AI avatars serve as virtual representatives allowing users to explore, socialize, and participate in severallive activities;
  • Virtual Events and Conferences: with the rise of web-hosted events and conferences, AI avatars can be a cutting-edge innovation to improve engagement and interaction, acting as virtual hosts, moderators or assistants and supporting participants through the event agenda, in order to facilitate networking and delivering presentations in an engaging manner.

Ethical considerations and future prospects about AI avatars

Taking into account the immense potential of AI avatars to revolutionize human-computer interaction, it is key to address all the ethical considerations concerning privacy, biases, and user consent in their development and deployment. Hence, it appears relevant to adopt ethical frameworks and promote constant transparency and accountability.

Looking ahead, the future of AI avatars seems thrilling and full of possibilities for further refinement and integration across multiple industries, creating a more connected, inclusive, and dynamic next generation of human-machine interaction.

Pilot implementations of the EU Digital Identity Wallet

Pilot implementations of the EU Digital Identity Wallet

European Digital Identity Wallet: the digitization of identity in Europe

The next step for the achievement of a modern and secure digital identity in Europe will be the introduction of the European Digital Identity Wallet (EUDI), an innovation on which the European Parliament and the Council have already reached an agreement.

This new digital identity tool will enable all citizens and businesses located within the EU territory to access public and private services through a reliable and interoperable recognition system that ensures data security and creates an innovative digital market. The European Union’s plan is to digitize and improve the quality of life of European citizens, making all key public services available online by 2030 and accessible with this new, secure and easy electronic identification. It works both within national area and across borders, providing users with a solid privacy protection.

The prototype of the EU Digital Identity Wallet

Based on what was established by the proposition for the regulation of the new European digital identity, the European Commission will provide a wallet prototype of EUDI designed for citizens and businesses to share data in a secure and convenient way without barriers that could slow down the operations. It will serve to:

  • Test and inform specifications developed by Member States in collaboration with the Commission, as a common EU toolbox to implement the EU wallet;
  • Test a series of large-scale pilot projects covering different sectors, such as healthcare, financial services, education, transportation and digital payments;
  • Furthermore, EUDI will be made available as open source for Member States.

What do the EUDI pilot projects involve?

Before its introduction, the EUDI wallet will be tested by four large-scale pilot projects to verify its potential in real-world use cases in different sectors. The pilot projects will involve over 250 private companies and public authorities from 25 Member States, as well as some countries that are not part of EU but strictly interact with the Union, that are Norway, Iceland and Ukraine.

Each pilot project, supporting the development of the EUDI application, will use elements of the reference implementation developed by the European Commission and will help to further improve its security, ease of use and interoperability.

There will be eleven case studies to test on which the pilot projects will focus:

  1. Access to digital public services, such as applying for a passport or driving license, paying taxes or accessing social security information;
  2. Opening a bank account online, verifying and authenticating identities to access bank services with no need to enter personal information again;
  3. SIM digital registration, proving users identities to register and activate SIM cards contracts, hence reducing fraud and costs for mobile network operators;
  4. Driver’s License, storing and presenting digital driver’s license in both online and physical interactions, when needed;
  5. Contract Signing, creating secure digital signatures for signing all kinds of contracts online, avoiding the making of paper documents and physical signatures;
  6. Medical Prescriptions, providing prescription details directly to pharmacies to access specific medical products;
  7. Travel, quickly and easily accessing to security and customs checks presenting all the travel documents information (e.g. passport, visa, etc.);
  8. Organizational digital identities, to demonstrate the real identity of a legitimate corporate representative;
  9. Payments, to verify user’s identity before initiating an online payment process;
  10. Education Certification, as an evidence of possession of educational credentials, such as diplomas, degrees and certificates, facilitating applications for employment or advanced education levels;
  11. Access to Social Security Benefits, as the wallet can be used to safely access specific social security services, such as retirement or disability benefits.

Who are the consortia partaking in the pilot projects?

The European Commission has selected four consortia entrusted with the task of testing the functions of the EUDI in several contexts and for different scope, but all with the common goal of promoting the adoption of the European Digital Identity Wallet.

The four consortia include public and private players and organizations from different Member States and aim to cover a wide variety of potential real use cases to demonstrate the flexibility, effectiveness and convenience of the EU Identity Wallet. Here are the four consortia and their pilot projects:

  • Potential-European Consortium for Digital Identity: this consortium (which also includes Namirial) is made up of 148 members from 19 EU states and Ukraine and involves both public sector experts and private players able to address a variety of problems (technical, commercial, regulatory, etc.) related to the functioning of the wallet in six main areas (Government services; Banking; Telecommunications; Driving licenses; Electronic signatures; Healthcare), standing by a user-friendly approach that ensures interoperability of systems from different companies. Potential looks for enabling Member States to build the necessary expertise and infrastructure, taking into account the results of testings on six main use cases (Identification and Access to digital public services; Opening a bank account; Application for a SIM card; Authentication of driving licenses; Signing of contracts; Request of medical prescriptions);
  • Nobid Consortium: this consortium is made up of a group of Nordic and Baltic countries, which includes also Italy and Germany as additional partners, and involves several banks in order to test the wallet and deal with its use in terms of authorization of payments for products and services by the user/holder. Nobid focuses especially on the initiation of payment procedures and aims to address the issuance of wallets, the provision of means of payment by financial institutions, the acceptance and payment in a retail context;
  • DC4EU: this consortium will test the use of the EUDI in two important sectors, that are education (professional credentials and qualifications) and social security (PDA1 and EHIC), and will align with ESSPASS and the European Learning Model. This large scale pilot project is truly unique because of its use of the European blockchain services infrastructure in the context of the EU Digital Identity Wallet;
  • EUWC: this consortium will test EUDI to work on the storage and archiving of travel credentials, thus supporting free cross-border movement in Europe. It will also focus on developing wallets for businesses that enable citizens to identify themselves anywhere in Europe as legitimate representatives of a company. Moreover, EUWC consortium is going to test the European Digital Identity Wallet to store payment credentials and authorize account-to-account transactions too, as well as card-based and even token-based ones. EUWC focuses on three main areas, that are travel, organizational digital identities and payment initiation.

AI Avatars: main uses of human powered digital twins

What are AI avatars and digital twins?

As Artificial Intelligence advances and improves driving the development of the digital transformation, ever more AI-based products get released and aim to revolutionize habits and lifestyles for people, private companies and public organizations worldwide. Some of these innovations are AI avatars and digital twins, two intertwined concepts for what concerns virtual representations of real-world entities.

AI avatars are digital representations or embodiments of individuals, created by AI techniques, that can be applied for a wide range of use cases where human-like interaction is key and are required at least standard conversational abilities up to highly advanced performances that replicate human behavior, appearance, and even personality. AI avatars, or virtual characters, can be customized and are often used in customer service, virtual assistance, gaming, education, and entertainment.

Instead, digital twins are virtual replicas of physical objects, processes, systems, or even people created by collecting and integrating real-time data from digital sources like sensors, IoT devices, social media, wearables and online behavior to model, create (and simulate) a comprehensive virtual profile based on its real-world counterpart’s features. Digital twins are commonly used in many different industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare, transportation or urban planning, with the purpose of enabling improved decision-making, predictive maintenance, optimization of operations, and simulation of processes with no need to directly interact with the physical entities.

In short, while AI avatars aims to create interactive digital personas for human-like interactions, digital twins concentrate on generating virtual replicas for monitoring, analysis, and optimization purposes.

What are the benefits and limitations of AI avatars and digital twins?

AI avatars and digital twins provide several important benefits, especially in terms of:

  • scalability;
  • cost-effective implementation;
  • optimization of remote management;
  • decision-making;
  • customization;
  • improved user engagement.

More specifically, AI avatars can also be used effectively for virtual training and education, as well as for entertainment and marketing purposes, whereas digital twins possess the proper characteristics to improve predictive analysis, real-time monitoring and simulation of potential different scenarios.

However, these innovations also have relevant limitations, such as:

  • potential for biases or inaccuracy due to lack of understanding or empathy;
  • complexity of technical challenges (especially for what regards data integration);
  • risks for digital safety strictly related to the ethical considerations about privacy concerns, data and information security and potential misuse of AI technology.

What are the main applications of AI avatars and digital twins?

AI avatars and digital twins have found widespread applications across different sectors and industries and for multiple scope. Let’s take a look at the main uses of these AI-based innovations and how they impact to their improvement.

The main applications of AI avatars include:

  • Customer Service, as virtual assistants active 24/7 that handle inquiries, provide support, and guide users through several processes, making room for humans to focus and work on more complex issues;
  • Healthcare, as cutting-edge tools to assist patients, provide medical information and guidance on health-related queries into healthcare websites and applications, personalize healthcare support and help in triaging patients by assessing their symptoms, directing them to the appropriate medical resources;
  • E-learning and Training, as virtual teachers and mentors turning the e-learning and training landscape into personalized experiences with the provision of feedback, the adaptation to individual learning goals and needs and the arrangement of interactive and engaging training programs for employees and learners;
  • Virtual Retail Assistants, as retail industry AI-integrated tools into e-commerce platforms to guide customers, recommend products, facilitate and customize online shopping experiences by understanding customer preferences, providing product information, and supporting purchase decisions to enhance customer engagement and improve sales conversion rates.

The main applications of digital twins include:

  • Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, creating virtual replicas of production lines, equipment, and supply chain operations enabling manufacturers to simulate different scenarios, optimize processes, predict maintenance requirements, achieve higher operational efficiency and minimize downtime;
  • Smart Cities and Infrastructure, supporting city planers and infrastructure managers in the development of smart cities and related projects to best model urban environments, monitor infrastructure assets, simulate the impact of actions to take and facilitate data-driven decision-making for designing sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure;
  • Healthcare and Biomedical Applications, as innovative and personalized digital replicas of human organs, biological systems, and medical devices that allow healthcare professionals to simulate medical procedures, optimize treatment plans, and test virtual experiments, thus accelerating the development of personalized medicine and its potential;
  • Energy and Utilities, as virtual representations of power plants, grid systems, and utility networks that enable energy companies to monitor asset performance, predict equipment failures, optimize energy distribution, enhance operational resilience and improve energy efficiency.

AI avatars and digital twins are driving significant advancements across many industries and domains, reshaping the way organizations operate and deliver value doing their business. As AI technologies continue to evolve, the applications of AI avatars and digital twins are expected to expand further in future, unlocking new fascinating possibilities and actual opportunities for being part of innovation and growth as key players. Simply put, the power of AI avatars, digital twins and all the other applications of Artificial Intelligence is what will make businesses capable of gaining a competitive edge and pave the way for a more efficient and intelligent future.

Privacy protection for the evolving digital profiling

Abstract image with connected silhouettes to indicate paid privacy protection of digital profiles.

What’s new with paid privacy protection?

In this era dominated by digitization the significance of privacy is escalating. This is even underscored by the commonplace sharing of personal data, necessary to enable social media and online platforms to make tailored user experiences. Thus, confidentiality turns out being a key factor for privacy and data protection, highlighted by its acknowledgment in the European GDPR Regulation.

But how much is privacy worth exactly? How does digital profiling evolve in relation to the right to privacy? What is (if exists) the right price to pay to prevent companies from using personal data for advertising scope? These questions have become increasingly relevant, particularly following the decision communicated by Meta on October 30, 2023 highlighting a shift of its privacy policy.

 

The new Meta’s paid privacy policy

The company has announced a new offering for citizens of the European Union and Switzerland, as well as all users accessing its services within the European Economic Area. This new option gives the possibility to subscribe a monthly subscription to Facebook and Instagram without advertising spaces, commonly included in basic users feeds. Alternatively, as usual, people can still access and use Meta’s platforms for free by continuing to be targeted by advertisements.

Regardless of the purchase location, the subscription will apply to all Facebook and Instagram accounts connected in the Accounts Center costing €9.99 per month on PC and €12.99 per month for iOS and Android smartphones. Notably, prices for iOS and Android subscriptions will account for commissions levied by Apple and Google, too.

Furthermore, until March 1, 2024 the initial subscription will encompass all the accounts connected to the Accounts Center; after this date, for each added account it will be applied an additional monthly cost of €6 on PC and €8 on iOS and Android devices.

Whether users choose to keep their Meta accounts for free with ads, or subscribe to an ads-free subscription, the company has ensured its commitment to keep user data and information private and secure in compliance with cyber security and privacy standards set by the company policies and the EU data protection framework.

 

Digital profiling and data protection: is it right paying for privacy?

Following Meta’s announcement, users were prompted with a pop-up asking for their preference on the new privacy policy concerning Facebook and Instagram services.

Users were presented with the choice to either opt out of personal data tracking and processing for advertising purposes by paying the monthly subscription or, otherwise, accept these conditions to keep using the social media services for free.

But is it right paying for privacy? This delicate issue entails ethical implications. According to the BEUC (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs), the largest European consumer rights group, the answer is clearly negative. For this reason, it complained against Meta to the association of EU consumer protection authorities addressing the company’s approach illicit and accusing it of adopting unfair, deceptive and aggressive practices.

 

How does GDPR regulate the new paid privacy protection policy?

To grasp why the model proposed by Meta appears incompatible with the current EU rights framework, it’s imperative to delve into the legislative landscape. GDPR’s Article 25 introduces the clear principle of privacy by default, establishing that no further processing of personal data should occur beyond the minimum necessary.

Given that the services offered by social media platforms are based on user digital profiling and onboarding, there are two potential scenarios: either the aforementioned law is amended in order to introduce fee-based social media services, otherwise it won’t be possible to respect the principle enshrined by the Article 25 of the GDPR, since profiling by default paradoxically undermines the concept of data protection by default.

Furthermore, GDPR’s Article 6, that is another regulatory pillar regarding the protection of personal data, establishes that user profiling is a process that can be carried out only if there is a clear and legit consent from the interested party. As a matter of fact, this approval must be free, informed and revocable to be considered legitimate.

Meta’s approach plainly contrasts with this legal framework. Despite its promise to respect user choices, the company actually gives only one option: accept data tracking or pay. This clashes with GDPR’s Article 7.4, which explicitly prohibits conditioning a service to “the provision of consent to the processing of personal data not necessary for its execution”. Therefore, consent obtained under such circumstances is deemed invalid. Consequently, leveraging the legal basis of legitimate interest for profiling by default results untenable, as “legitimate” inherently implies alignment with the aforementioned law.

So, the alternative proposed by Meta appears at odds with GDPR principles, which are based on transparency and user control over personal data. The only actual way to bypass this legislation would entail repealing fundamental principles such as Articles 25, 6, and 7.4; on the other hand, privacy is not a question that can be relegated to a premium service, but a universal right that should be guaranteed and accessible to all.

Top AI trends for 2024

top ai trends 2024

What could be the next top trends for Artificial Intelligence in 2024?

Over the last few years Artificial Intelligence grew at a staggering pace, overtaking all other digital products, services and systems in the technological industry in terms of importance due to its disruptive potential; and it is already changing the way people and businesses carry out their daily activities.

Hence, it is no coincidence that AI actually leads the digital transformation as a driving force, playing a key role for both developers and users. As a matter of fact, the latest AI stats and data highlight how Artificial Intelligence already achieved impressive results with the prediction of thrilling growth prospects for the upcoming years:

  • in the end of 2023, the global AI market was valued around $196 billion (+$60 billion compared to 2022) and generated a revenue of almost $71 billion;
  • the AI industry is expected to expand by 13x times by 2030, at a CAGR of 38%;
  • the AI market might generate a revenue of more than $94 billion in 2024;
  • 83% of companies state that implementing AI in business activities is a top priority and 48% of them already use some kind of AI effectively;
  • large players like Netflix generate at least $1 billion revenues annually from AI-based automated personalized recommendations;
  • 38% of medical solutions include AI algorithms and tools to support diagnosis;
  • at least 97 million people will work in the AI space by 2025.

No wonder that AI potentially paves the way for new interesting opportunities, according with the most cutting-edge innovations for the development of this industry. What could be the next top trends for Artificial Intelligence in 2024? Let’s check them out!

AI 2024 trend no.1: Generative AI

First of all, in 2024 the industry of Artificial Intelligence is going to cross the so called next generation of Generative AI, for sure the most exciting side of this technology. In fact, over 2023 the large diffusion of AI-based tools, such as chatbots and image creators, brought to light the massive potential of Artificial Intelligence when it comes to generate new ideas and outputs simply starting from human inputs.

Generative AI can support a lot of different activities, even the most specialized ones: for example, it can help to quickly and effectively write or rewrite texts, create original pictures and logos or come up with new ideas and concepts within the human-machine conversation (e.g. ChatGPT). In 2024, the possibilities related to Generative AI may significantly increase thanks to the development of many other aspects of this industry bound to the other upcoming trends, making room for next gen applications and softwares able to perform even better, faster and smarter.

AI 2024 trend no.2: Multi-modal AI Models

One of the aspects that’s going to revolutionize Generative AI is the development of multi-modal language AI models, with the transition from the mere text-based model to the integration of more types of inputs for prompting and generating new content. This evolution will allow the combination of data and information collected in different formats, including texts, audio, documents, images and audiovisuals via advanced algorithms, in order to make predictions and generate outcomes by synthesizing multimedia data points in a dynamic way.

AI 2024 trend no.3: Open Source AI Models

A key role is going to be played by open source AI models too, empowering the acceleration of AI growth by combining with private proprietary models and setting up a good productivity and cost-efficiency synergy. This solution fosters open innovation activities and enhances the cooperation between organizations, with the share and mutual access to data, tools and technologies to achieve common goals.

In 2024, open AI models are expected to evolve and cross a stunning growth, reducing the gap with the proprietary models in terms of specific use cases, development resources, and data used to train the models. This will provide enterprises with much more options to host AI models in hybrid environments, for example available via cloud or APIs. Moreover, the adoption of open source models can pave the way for some interesting micro interactions by combining different features and capabilities, for the creation of a new experience in the development and use of hybrid and open AI models. 

AI 2024 trend no.4: Cloud Native AI Ecosystems

The first kind of hybrid environment to host AI models refers to cloud native AI ecosystems and infrastructures, such as Kubernetes. 2024 might be the key year for the evolution and development of frameworks, tools, and platforms entirely running in cloud to manage models, extend and support integrated cloud native workflows. This efficient solution is going to enable users to develop, train, deploy and scale Artificial Intelligence models efficiently, leveraging the potential of new open source cloud spaces.

AI 2024 trend no.5: API-Driven AI Systems

Similarly, the wide spread of APIs (application programming interfaces) represents the second kind of hybrid environment for hosting AI models. Its potential lies with the capability to simplify the creation of cutting-edge AI-driven applications and facilitate productivity. The implementation of API-driven AI systems also provides users with a suite of custom AI micro services made available by the developers through APIs.

AI 2024 trend no.6: Personalization and Customization

Another key trend for Artificial Intelligence in 2024 regards the possibility of personalization and customization of the use of AI, according with specific use cases and situations. Even though they might seem synonyms, they aren’t. As a matter of fact, AI enables users to leverage tailored solutions to perform the best results possible.

Personalization is what consumers (so users) want nowadays, one of the most appreciated feature of a product or service. AI is not an exception and people want companies to give them more and more real-time personalized experiences, which is possible thanks to AI-based algorithms that analyze users characteristics and behavior and recommend them coherent additional products, services, contents, etc.

On the other hand, company customization is rising similarly to personalization as a trend for businesses to implement tailored Artificial Intelligence tools and systems, designed to handle specific needs. This is going to lead to the development of more efficient and customized AI-driven business solutions to improve the interaction with customers and markets in a strategic way, with an increasing trust on AI for what concerns engagement, operational efficiency and dynamic competitiveness.

AI 2024 trend no.7: Accessibility

One of the most challenging factors of new technologies is given by the possibility to be accessible to all users, no matter disabilities. Thus, accessibility is surely going to be one of most important trends to pursue in 2024 for the development of AI, integrating all that it takes to enable users who suffer from disability to equally access tools, softwares and systems through Artificial Intelligence. Companies can prioritize this delicate issue by running regular accessibility tests with AI accessibility tools that automatically evaluate and repair content, or by implementing AI-supported intelligent chat functionalities that help users to access to more difficult content.

AI 2024 trend no.8: Augmented Working

It’s clear that Artificial Intelligence already changed the way people and organizations work, but the next phase to pursue concerns the so called augmented working, which refers to the possibility to leverage AI as a powerful assistant to expand human intelligence and capabilities in the workplace.

This is already a fact in the medical industry, where AI softwares help doctors to support diagnosis and even improve the efficiency of surgeries; or in the marketing area, helping businesses to handle market data and information and improve promotional strategies; or also in education, enabling teachers and professors to expand the effectiveness of their classes with the implementation of AI tools designed to arrange notes and learning units.

AI 2024 trend no.9: AI Legislation

This trend specifically refers to policy-makers, who are constantly facing the need to regulate the deployment and use of new technologies in order to guarantee correct guidelines to make the most of them and, concurrently, minimize its potential risks (especially in terms of cyber security). In 2023, the European Union has been the first political organization worldwide to address AI legislation as a priority, as the European Parliament is working on the EU Artificial Intelligence Act, the primary AI legal framework that will define regulations and obligations of this technological industry.

AI 2024 trend no.10: AI Ethics

Last but not least, the fascinating trend concerning AI ethics. It refers to a double-edged factor, related to the ethical development and training of AI models and, on the other hand, the ethical use of AI tools. Here, transparency is key, as Artificial Intelligence becomes ever more integrated into everyday life of businesses and common users. 2024 is going to be the year to develop safer systems designed on safety protocols and ethical standards, pursuing the goal of making AI a technology for the good of humanity.

The impact of Artificial Intelligence energy use

artificial intelligence energy impact

What is the energy impact of Artificial Intelligence?

Although the origins of Artificial Intelligence date back to the last century, the recent wide diffusion of disruptive AI solutions, such as ChatGPT or Midjourney, has led this technology to become increasingly popular and commonly used by everybody. Hence, Artificial Intelligence has become one of the driving forces of technological innovation, a key factor to revolutionize many industries like healthcare, transportation and finance.

The constant growth of the capabilities of AI in all its applications has opened several debates on the possible issues that this technology could bring: above all, one of the most important and interesting refers to the energy impact of AI and its cost in terms of sustainability. As a matter of fact, experts highlighted that the computing power needed to run Machine Learning algorithms and processes could severely impact on climate change, considering the greenhouse gas emissions due to the large amount of electricity required.

Moreover, every single online interaction is based on a scaffolding of information stored in remote servers and data centers that are located around the world and use a large amount of energy to function. According to the International Energy Agency, data centers currently account for 1 up to 1.5 percent of global electricity consumption. Artificial Intelligence, which has not yet reached its peak, could significantly increase this percentage as the so-called Large Language Models (LLMs), the language models trained on vast text datasets to handle such complex tasks, become increasingly stressed; so, this consequently entails that the demand for servers to process models grows exponentially, requiring an ever bigger amount of energy to work. This is a clear challenge for the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, affecting the use of energy resources and the environmental sustainability.

The growing energy footprint of Artificial Intelligence

Alex De Vries, a PhD student at the VU in Amsterdam who studies the energy costs of emerging technologies, and also founder of the digital sustainability blog Digiconomist, in his study ‘The growing energy footprint of artificial intelligence’ (a peer-reviewed analysis published in October on Joule) hypothesized that if each Google search in a year used Artificial Intelligence (AI), it would consume approximately the same amount of electricity used to provide energy to a small country like Ireland (29.3 TWh per year). De Vries’ study is based on specific unchanged parameters, such as the growth rate of AI, its availability and the full capacity of servers. He explained the results of his research with a metaphor: a single LLM interaction can consume as much energy as leaving an energy-saving LED light bulb on for an hour.

De Vries also points out the case of an American AI company, which consumed about 433 megawatt hours (MWh) to train its multilingual AI text-generating system, that is enough to power 40 average houses in the United States for one year. And, considering the growing demand for AI services worldwide, it is very likely that AI-related energy consumption will increase significantly within the next few years.

Furthermore, the researcher highlights that if current trends in terms of capabilities and adoption of Artificial Intelligence were to continue, one of the leading companies in the graphics card sector, which today is able to provide 95% of the AI processing kit requested by the market (thus, effectively holding a monopoly), could distribute 1.5 million servers per year by 2027. If all these servers would operate at full capacity, they could consume at least 85.4 TWh of electricity per year: a quantity greater than the average annual energy consumption of many small countries.

How can Hybrid AI reduce the costs of Artificial Intelligence?

Hybrid AI can help reduce the costs related with implementing and running AI systems and, so, minimize the impact of Artificial Intelligence for what concerns energy use.

Here are some ways that can make this process accomplished:

  • Resource optimization: Hybrid AI allows to use heterogeneous resources more efficiently, deploy less intensive workloads on edge devices or less powerful hardware, thus saving on computing and infrastructure costs;
  • Scalability: the hybrid approach makes possible to scale the infrastructure flexibly as needed; hence, for example, during peak loads it’s possible to allocate more cloud resources and, the other way round, release them when demand decreases, enabling more dynamic and efficient cost management;
  • Use of lean models: optimized AI models help reduce computational power requirements and its related costs; this is particularly important in cases where the simplest models still fully meet the needs of the application;
  • Edge computing: by moving some of the decision making to edge devices, it’s possible to reduce the need to transfer large amounts of data across networks, thus saving resources on data transmission and leveraging local computing capacity;
  • Adaptability to available resources: Hybrid AI allows to adapt computing resources based on the specific characteristics of the workload and save on infrastructure costs; in situations where it’s possible to use less expensive local resources rather than expensive cloud services, this is the best way to reduce the energy impact;
  • Using managed services: adopting managed cloud computing services to deploy Artificial Intelligence systems reduce operational costs and make the management of infrastructure lean and simple;
  • Model lifecycle optimization: monitoring and optimizing AI models over time help maintain good performance keeping costs low; this includes recurring training, model compression, and parameter optimization.

By implementing these principles, organizations looking to innovate their way of doing business, expand pro-digital culture and increase digital trust, can create an efficient Hybrid Artificial Intelligence strategy focusing on two important aspects that must be considered as equals: meeting the needs of the application of AI, but handling the flexibility of AI-related costs and the impact of the use of this technology in terms of energy sustainability.

The importance of pro-digital transformation culture

digital transformation

Why culture is key to succeed in digital transformation?

Speaking of digital transformation within companies, very often, immediately results in just thinking about the introduction of new disruptive technologies into the most important business processes. If you do so, don’t worry, because you’re right; but only partially. As a matter of fact, technology only represents one of the factors that portray digitization, most likely a direct and concrete consequence of culture, the true key to succeed in digital transformation and be a competitive organization.

To best understand the importance of culture in building a pro-digital mindset, it’s needed to ponder about innovation, the engine of the whole digital transformation phenomenon. No wonder that, after all, digital transformation is all about innovating what exists in order to improve it, or even creating new products, services, markets and even lifestyles. And where does innovation come from? Culture, of course. Without the right open-minded culture, is not possible to enable an innovative mindset to fuel digitization; and of course, this would eventually translates into a lack of adoption of technologies, or worse a wrong use of them.

A proper example refers to artificial intelligence, currently meant to be the driving force in digital transformation and most likely the technological field that’s going to completely change our lives. Well, AI solutions play their role at best in the improvement of business operations only when they’re controlled and supported by human professionals, who use their own expertise and knowledge to leverage it as a helpful machine companion to side with in achieving their tasks, and not when they’re just activated to replace human work at all.

Building digital transformation culture: the current digitization status

So, is it possible to build a pro-digital transformation culture? The current digitization status shows that worldwide players are seizing the opportunity to get involved in this great innovation process, thus highlights how the need for specific kinds of expertise, soft skills and know-hows is leading to the development of a proper mindset, strictly related to what could be called as a digital culture.

Let’s take a look at some interesting overall statistics on digital transition:

  • the global digital transformation market is expected to grow up to $1,548.9 billion value by 2027 at a 21% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over five years (from $594.5 billion value in 2022);
  • worldwide spending on digital transformation activities is expected to reach almost $3.5 trillion by 2026, and especially new investments expenditure in the industry is supposed to double in three years (2022-25);
  • the world economy value will be enriched with $100 trillion by 2025 through the development of the digital transformation industry;
  • 91% of businesses are engaged into digital initiatives, both considered as single pilot projects or true integral part of the corporate strategy.

These few numbers, merely representing an overview about the entire sector, clearly show that digital transformation quickly makes steps forward and both private and public organizations are following the wave. And of course, they all care about making forward-looking investments to build a pro-digitization culture and foster the main challenges and opportunities of digital transformation within youngest generations.

To face this successfully and be prepared for the future, it’s needed to develop a right culture of digital transformation. How? A nice example comes from the European Union, funding its EU Digital Program with €46 million to make citizens aware of digitization and shape their future together. Education plays a key role in this game, as especially within the highest grades of school and university students need, and demand, to be channeled towards their future: this simply results in introducing them to the brand new world of work, making them aware of the concrete and most competitive prospects in terms of studies to undertake, occupation opportunities, specialized jobs, new ways of working (like remote working) and providing them with the right tools, that are knowledge, hard and soft skills, to really comprehend and master the power of digital transformation. For this reason, nowadays more and more institutes of education have already activated specific training courses, side project works and activities, in partnership with companies and startups, to give students a chance to experience firsthand what it means to work in environments promoting digitization. On the other hand, the creation of a pro-digitization culture is not only a question affecting students and novice young workers, but it commits businesses to provide all their employees and contributors with adequate professional training sessions aiming to improve their knowledge and capacities to handle technology.

Main factors of pro-digital transformation culture and mindset

Working in environments able to surf the wave of digital transformation and promote digitization actually means to be part of an organization that masters and nurture the right culture and mindset to be a digital-first player. This involves three main factors, the very foundation of each pro-digital company nowadays: people first, processes second, and technology just third. Let’s check out each of these factors one by one:

  1. People (who?) is the first key element to succeed in digital transformation, simply because if an organization wants to digitize, people have to change first. So, this entails to push forward with change management in terms of education and the need to make sure that people – as citizens yet as students and teachers, workers and employers – build and share a pro-digital transformation mindset. It represents a double commitment, internal and external: in the first case, companies looking for leading digitization have to foster the digital culture within the whole team through executive support, collaboration and up-skill professional training; on the other hand, a true digital-first organization also wants to share its values on the outside with customers and partners, thus prioritizing the promotion of digitization culture and digital trust;
  2. Processes (how?) are the second element to succeed in digital transformation and they refer to the ways companies combine their resources to achieve specific tasks and goals; hence, speaking of processes it’s all about identifying what a company needs to evolve along with technology and how to reallocate workers’ jobs and responsibilities. Most likely, the most relevant combination to work on relates to find the best matching between people, with their know-hows, skills and roles, and technologies, the driving forces in the transition movement towards digitization;

Technology (what?) is eventually the third and last element for a successful digital transformation. Let’s make it clear, technologies alone can’t really make the difference for a company if they lack a proper culture and the right mindset to control their potential; hence, while technology is obviously the necessary and essential factor of the digital transformation, there can’t be any real chance for organizations to digitize without matching it with prepared people, well-defined processes and a solid culture based on the right knowledge and values to make people aware of what future brings.