This article is available only in English.

Open Data Big Bang


The concept and the impact of Open Data are already visible in science and business fields in the construction of a new civil society.

Etymogically the term Data is derived from the Latin dare meaning ‘to give’. In this sense as suggested Rob Kitchin, data refer to those elements that are taken and extracted in order to define or observe a specific phenomenon.

Strictly speaking, the data are seen as a series of ‘units of truth ‘or ‘unit of knowledge’ for this reason, it represents a complex socio-technical assemblage.

The spirit of Open Data movement consists of the idea that data should be freely available to everyone, regardless of who they are or how they want to use it without restrictions from copyright and other mechanisms of control.

The digital information given by Open Data about a determinate topic for example transport, education, legislation or business permit people to use it, re-use it and redistribute it including intermixing with other datasets and distributing the results.

Generally, the key aspects of Open Data can be summarized in three points: availability and access, re-use and redistribution and universal participation to data.

However, in order to use the data in this modality, it has to be released in a format that will allow people to share it and combine it with other data to use it in their own applications. This is why transparency isn’t just about access to data, but also making sure that it is released in an open, reusable format.

In business, big data are providing a new means to manage in an efficient and dynamic way all the aspects of a company’s activities and to leverage additional profit through enhanced productivity and market knowledge.

Gradually, several Governments are sharing information with international partners and are exchanging knowledge on respective national open data policies.

Openness about what the government does and how it spends the public resources, is absolutely crucial to the proper functioning of an open and democratic society.

It’s important for the government to release data it holds, such as information on where money is spent and how well public services are performing. Not only does this let people hold government to account, but it can also help to improve efficiency, give people choice in using public services and contribute to economic growth.

In addition, citizens and non-government organizations through the examination of open datasets can draw their own conclusions and create an alternative vision of how society should be organized and managed.

Italy promoted a number of open data activities both at national and local level and collected it in the ‘Italian Action Plan’. In June 2013, the Plan was drafted by Department for Public Administration in cooperation with the Agency for Digital Italy (AGID) in order to share the information about the quality and efficiency of public services and national policies making government`s decisions more transparent.

In this type of activity are involved at a local level the public administration of several Italian Regions and various civil society groups such as ‘Spaghettiopendata’ (a vivid community debating the status of initiatives around open data in Italy and occasionally organizing events); the Italian Association for Open Government; Linked Open Data Italy3, Stati Generali dell’innovazione4, Wikitalia (which is also committed to raising funds and tutoring local administrations for civic hacking projects).

At the moment, from the legal point of view the article 9 of the decree-law no 179/2012 defines the legislative framework that enhances access to and reuse of Public Sector Information (PSI).

Apart from their political uses, in the immigration field open available data are provided online by the Italian Institute of Statistics. Officials statistics on migration flows are based on the administrative sources and include information on the main socio-demographic characteristics of migrants and draft the number of asylum and citizenship applicants.

The consultation of these Open Data could be useful for planning actions, monitoring and evaluating programmers in order to harmonize common immigration policies and estimate the future trends of migrant movements in Italy.

Moreover, an interesting Open Data initiatives are promoted by the National Archives of New York City regarding the immigration field in order to help ancestry and genealogical researches on Italian immigrants in USA during the period 1820- 1957. Indeed, the site contains an extensive searchable database of Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York and provides information including age, sex, literacy, occupation, country of origin, port of embarkation, date of arrival into the city and ship`s name.

Paola Deepa Spagnulo

Intern – Digital Innovation at Immigration

This article is available only in English.

How CrowdSourcing techniques would help Artificial Intelligence to advance


Artificial Intelligence era is upon us and still we don’t know exactly how to use it and how this will take place in our everyday life in the upcoming future. There are a lots of techniques that can describe and develop an artificial intelligent system, one of them is to start from the zero point, from the empty universe. Computers industry started when man wanted to release himself from hard work problem solutions, difficult and strict works to be done and extra big calculations with the goal to start spend time to much more advanced fields, something like this will happen with AI too.

People in our days are using a lot their computers and this is just fine. In decision making AI, the software should learn to make decisions for the system. The programmer will develop this “autonomous” decision-making to run and react by its owns “decisions” and calculations. But, is this individuality and real program’s decision or programmer’s consciousness? Well, we need to start with something! In time the AI system will learn more about its environment and it will react smoother than first, like babies. First things first, a baby starts learns from zero, like our system explained above. He starts to learn by having reactions with other objects, humans, society, a crowd. The baby starts to learn fast, but a ready one-human based consciousness, maybe learn much faster during reactions with a crowd (because is a computer, it can do a billion calculations in less than one quarter of the second, this makes sense).

The crowd, as a group of people, think, make decisions, learn and act. Imagine obtain and store all these reactions, information and beliefs in one place, this is crowdsourcing. “Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” is the crowdsourcing definition. Well, lets now consider to take the opportunity to data mine crowdsourcing results and import it, in a serial way, with matching techniques into this “consciousness”. Our AI system, will learn by a several big amount of data, which means we will have a lot if different instances of each object and a different connection to each other. By using this, the power of crowd, we maybe be in place to say, that this consciousness will use a catholic “think” way to act and react to different circumstances and it will start to have an objective consciousness, an it’s own consciousness. In this way, the AI system that will be created, would be used in common problem solving issues, that would compare standard knowledge with crowd’s opinion – thoughts.

That’s is what we do, we compare with each other and learn from it, transferring data, beliefs, interests and much more. With the proper tools of crowdsourcing, we collect them in one place and then we grab the results. Why not Artificial Intelligence? Just an idea.

Chaniotakis M. George
Developer,  Crowdpolicy

CrowdSourcing Artificial Intelligence