Artificial intelligence in Switzerland: Marco Zaffalon interviewed by Deloitte Switzerland and SGE
25 March 2021
Marco Zaffalon, Scientific Director of IDSIA USI-SUPSI, was interviewed by Deloitte and Switzerland Global Enterprise in a report focused on the developments of Artificial Intelligence and on Switzerland's position as an international research and development hub.

The Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence USI-SUPSI is a centre of excellence with thirty years of internationally recognised experience in artificial intelligence research. Marco Zaffalon, Scientific Director of the Institute, was recently interviewed by Deloitte Switzerland and Switzerland Global Entreprise.

"IDSIA is very well known for its research on optimization algorithms – for example in routing, supply chains and scheduling. Other than this, we have a very long history of applied projects developed with companies and numerous special innovations have been developed while working on these projects. A fashionable topic at the moment is LSTM (long short-term memory), a type of neural network invented in 1997 in a joint collaboration between IDSIA and the Technical University of Munich. This is probably the most used type of neural network today in the world, with all the big players using it, such as Apple, Google, Amazon, etc”.

In order to support IDSIA and its pioneering research in cutting-edge sectors, an important factor is also linked to the institute's strategic positioning in the socio-economic fabric of a country like Switzerland, which is a centre and collector of excellence in all areas of advanced research. In recent years, in fact, the Confederation has steadily positioned itself at the top of the Global Innovation Index, the world ranking for technological innovation.
“I can give you many objective reasons why Switzerland is very well positioned - continues Zaffalon - First and foremost, the government's annual investment in R&D as a percentage of GDP tops the world ranking, the quality of its polytechnics and the myriad high-profile research centres distributed all over the country and Switzerland's two-track education system, one more academic, the other more applied, which is regularly praised worldwide as an example of a good education system”.
Professor Zaffalon final appeal, however, is to encourage a general change in the country's system so that artificial intelligence, which by its very nature will pervade all other fields, can continue to grow and become an attractive and distinctive element for Switzerland on a global level.

Full report:
•    Deloitte Switzerland: "The AI train is moving fast - we have to start running now to catch it"
•    SGE: “Switzerland owes its success to its liberal and pragmatic mentality.”