A glance at IDSIA: applied research, multidisciplinarity and future orientation
25 November 2021
Andrea Emilio Rizzoli and Marco Zaffalon, Director and Scientific Director of the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence USI-SUPSI, presented the institute and its activities in a recent article published by Ticino Scienza.

The Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence USI-SUPSI, internationally renowned for its pioneering studies in the field of AI, is a dynamic, multicultural and informal environment in which researchers tackle the challenges and problems related to artificial intelligence.

A young and growing discipline, as 77% of the Institute's researchers who are under 40 years old.  «We put a lot of emphasis on them, because our discipline is a bit like football: young people are fresher and have brighter ideas, while those who are over a certain age become coaches», explained Prof. Andrea Emilio Rizzoli, Director of IDSIA.

But young age is not the only feature of the research at the Dalle Molle Institute. «Artificial intelligence is a very broad field» commented the Scientific Director, Prof. Marco Zaffalon. «This is why we have researchers with a wide range of skills: from machine learning for neural networks to statistics, from artificial vision to mobile robotics, from microcomputers to artificial intelligence for the industrial and biomedical sectors».

The fields of application of artificial intelligence are numerous and constantly expanding, which implies an increasing interconnection between the academic environment and the surrounding socio-economic reality.  In this regard, 50% of the research activities carried out by the Dalle Molle Institute are applied to real cases arising from the needs of industry and the market. Over the years, the Institute has established important and fruitful collaborations with partners such as Mastercard, Roche, Novartis and UBS, as well as with many small local companies that have found in artificial intelligence a lever for growth and consolidation.

«The real challenge will be to find quality people capable of carrying on what has been done in IDSIA's 40-year history», concluded Prof. Andrea Emilio Rizzoli. «Between self-driving cars, educational robots, artificial intelligence systems that design drugs and so on, a very interesting century awaits us» added Zaffalon. «It will be crucial to grow our Institute to accompany this transformation of society, not only from a technological point of view, but also from a social, political and economic one».