Artificial intelligence: what it is and why it matters

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”. When we talk about the intelligence of machinery, we refer to “the ability of the machine in understanding its environment [human language] and the corresponding actions it takes [reaction]”. Developing this ability requires a lot of training, testing and designing. (

AI can be applied in the most diverse fields and sectors; just to mention a few: eCommerce, Human Resources Management, Healthcare, Logistics, Cybersecurity. According to a study performed by Professor Carlo Bagnoli (Ca’Foscari University of Venice), manufacturing, retail and healthcare are the three sectors that will be most affected by the transformation of work by means of AI. Particularly, in manufacturing there will be an increase in automation in the production processes, with the aim of optimizing production lines. At the core of Smart Manufacturing are the self-correction of processes and the integration of machinery with new cognitive and learning skills.

Bagnoli claims that “The companies that will be the first to adopt these technologies, integrating them into their business strategies, will create a competitive gap that is difficult to bridge by the others.” However, 59% of companies have not yet formulated real AI strategies. ( According to ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics), in the period 2016-2018, 77,5% of Italian companies with at least 10 employees have invested, or in any case used, at least one digital technology; however, most companies prioritize infrastructure investments (cloud solutions, connectivity in fiber optic or mobile, management software, cyber-security), and leave the adoption of application technologies (Big data, Internet of Things applications, 3D printing, robotics, simulation, etc.) to a later stage.

As mentioned above, Artificial Intelligence is key to achieving competitive advantage. TalentJourney skills data collection (2.1 Report, hereby available in the “News section”) has pointed out that the roles of an AI specialist are broad, meaning there are a variety of directions for a specialist to take. However, all paths have one similarity: specialists program computers to comprehend a diversity of situations, which is particularly true in the dynamic world of IoT and Smart Manufacturing. It is critical that learners are prepared for AI related changes through appropriate training. On the other hand, AI itself can help improving learning opportunities for students, advancing collaborative learning, providing flexible and personalized approaches to learning. At TalentJourney, we are ready for the challenge!

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