Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds tremendous potential to enhance human decisions and to avoid cognitive overload and bias in high-stakes scenarios. To date, however, adoption of AI-based support systems has been minimal in settings such as hospitals, tribunals and public administrations.
The EU recognises the need to foster research and innovation in this field, and on March, TANGO secured €8M to develop the theoretical foundations and the computational framework for synergistic human-machine decision making, paving the way for the next generation of human-centric AI systems. The new EU-funded project that will kick off in autumn 2023, with 21 partner organisations from 9 countries across Europe, is set to strengthen the leadership of Europe in this area.
TANGO argues that in order for AI to fully develop its enormous potential in terms of positive impact on individuals, society and economy, we need to completely rethink the way in which AI systems are conceived. People should feel they can trust the systems they interact with, in terms of reliability of their predictions and decisions, capacity of the systems to understand their needs, and guarantees that they are genuinely aiming at supporting them rather than some undisclosed third party. In other words, a symbiosis should be established between humans and machines, in which all parties are aligned in terms of values, goals and beliefs, and support and complement each other so as to reach objectives beyond what each would be able to do by itself.
“It takes two to TANGO! Our perspective is that a deep mutual understanding between humans and machines is essential for the development of truly effective and innovative AI systems that can expand human reasoning and decision-making capabilities” says the project coordinator Andrea Passerini.
The potential impact on individuals and society of the TANGO framework will be evaluated on a pool of real-world use cases of extremely high social impact, namely supporting women during pregnancy and postpartum, supporting surgical teams in intraoperative decision making, supporting loan officers and applicants in credit lending decision processes, and helping public policy makers in designing incentives and allocating funds. The success of these case studies will foster the adoption of TANGO as the framework of reference for developing a new generation of synergistic AI systems, and will strengthen the leadership of Europe in human-centric AI.
Prof. Novi Quadrianto (University of Sussex – BCAM) will be collaborating on the project from the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics. “We are super excited to start working on this important project with excellent consortium members where we will be leading the development of reliable models with fairness and bias considerations and translating those reliable models into ethical and trustworthy decision making. The work at BCAM will be done as part of the BCAM Severo Ochoa Strategic Lab on Trustworthy Machine Learning”, explains Prof. Quadrianto.
Among the 21 partner organisations there are universities, research centres, institutions, foundations and companies from 9 European countries. 7 are from Italy (University of Trento – which is also coordinator of the network- , University of Pisa, National Research Council of Italy, Scuola Normale Superiore, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, U-Hopper srl, Intesa Sanpaolo), 4 from Serbia (The AI Research and Development Institute of Serbia, SHARE Foundation, A 11-Initiative for Economic and Social Rights, Ministry of Family Welfare and Demography), 2 from United Kingdom (University of Swansea, University of Warwick), 2 from Belgium (Center for European Policy Studies, EIT Digital), 1 from France (Université Paris Cité) and one each from Ireland (Carr Communications), Sweden (Surgical Science Sweden AB), Germany (University Hospital Heidelberg) and Spain (Basque Center for Applied Mathematics).
About the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics – BCAM
The Basque Center for Applied Mathematics – BCAM is an international research centre in the field of Applied Mathematics and a centre promoted by the Department of Education of the Basque Government, which is part of the BERC network (Basque Excellence Research Centers). It was created in 2008 by the Basque Government through Ikerbasque. It also has the support of the UPV/EHU, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, Innobasque and Petronor Innovacion. One of its main objectives is to put mathematics at the service of society through the transfer of knowledge, extending the results of its research to sectors such as biosciences, health, energy, or advanced manufacturing, and working jointly with local and international institutions and companies.
It currently has a staff of more than 150 researchers of 25 nationalities working in diverse areas, from data science or computational mathematics to mathematical modelling. BCAM has been accredited three times in a row as a “Severo Ochoa” centre of excellence by the State Research Agency, a distinction awarded to the best research institutions in the world in their field.