Martel Innovate is firmly committed to end-to-end ICT innovation and has diversified its core consulting business to include research and development activities, as well as a broad palette of communication, marketing, media and training services. Artificial Intelligence (AI) certainly ranks as a prominent topic among the focus areas for research and innovation, not just for Martel but also for Europe and beyond. Moreover, AI complements very well other areas where Martel is already strongly positioned, such as the Internet of Things, Next Generation Internet and Cloud Computing.

giovanniA very clear sign of Martel’s direction was the recent appointment of Dr. Giovanni Rimassa as Chief Innovation Officer. Dr. Rimassa holds a PhD with a Thesis on multi-agent systems and was one of the designers of the JADE Open Source agent platform, as well as of LSPS, an intelligent business process management suite leveraging AI goal-orientation to model and execute business processes and applications.

The new Chief Innovation Officer brings to Martel twenty years of experience centred on practical AI research, innovation, and product management, covering academia and industry, with a multidisciplinary focus that spans thought leadership, product marketing, and software development.

Speaking about his appointment, Dr. Rimassa said, “It is an opportune moment for me to join Martel. AI has grown in maturity and popularity. Despite the many research problems that still need to be solved, AI tremendously increased its impact on everybody’s life. An increased uptake in AI is accompanied by a requirement for responsible development of AI. With its value proposition combining technical innovation, roadmapping, software development and marketing communication, Martel is ideally positioned to thrive in this unfolding AI Renaissance”.

Dr. Monique Calisti, CEO of Martel said, “To have Giovanni on board is a great asset for Martel. His in-depth knowledge and experience in the AI field, both from a research and commercial perspective, are key for the strategic development of our innovation activities and plans.” says Monique. “I’ve known Giovanni for more than 20 years and I’ve worked with him in the past on the development of AI-based commercial software solutions. I am sure he will play a key role in the development and growth of Martel and I am very happy to see him in action as our new Chief Innovation Officer.”

First Destination – European AI Alliance Assembly

Soon after his joining Martel, Dr. Rimassa accompanied Dr. Calisti to the First European AI Alliance Assembly in Brussels, Belgium. Since its inception, Dr. Calisti has been involved in the EU AI Alliance contributing to the definition of the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI put together by the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG). At the AI Alliance Assembly, the Policy and Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy AI were launched by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. Secondly, the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, published on 8 April this year, entered a piloting process, where stakeholders from several domains and industries are able to step forward and assess the guidelines.

The journey goes on – Connecting the AI dots

Dr. Rimassa was the keynote speaker at the 20th Workshop “From Object to Agents”, WOA 2019 in Parma, Italy. The keynote covered two complementary sides of the multi-agent paradigm: as a software architecture blueprint and as a collaborative, multi-disciplinary problem-solving approach, giving him the opportunity to also present one of Martel’s Horizon 2020 projects: WeNet.

WeNet aims to deploy AI within an interdisciplinary effort with the overall goal to develop the culture, science and engineering methodologies, algorithms, social interaction protocols for an online platform that will empower machine mediated diversity-aware interactions between people. With its focus on diversity and strong ethical and sociological background, WeNet very much resonates with the AI HLEG published ethics guidelines and associated assessment process.

Dr. Rimassa’s keynote speech at WOA 2019 also introduced the research community audience to Martel’s vision and approach on Artificial Intelligence, hinging on some key points.

Firstly, the recognition of the dual nature of AI and multi-agent systems: it is an effective way to design and build intelligent networked software, as well as a knowledge and collaboration approach that not only learns from computer science but is also strongly pollinated by social sciences’ ideas and structures.

Secondly, the emphasis on diversity and multidisciplinary research and innovation as the only viable option when dealing with the complex issues raised by modern AI within today’s society, as displayed by work from the AI HLEG and the European Commission at large.

Thirdly, the unwavering commitment to open systems and international cooperation as the master path towards a fruitful combination of technical excellence and durable social benefit.

Martel’s AI journey is just at its beginning, we are at work on our hitchhiking guide to the future and we are glad Giovanni is one of our helmsmen. Stay tuned for more to come!

Follow Giovanni on Twitter @GiovanniRimassa