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12/10 - "Are big data taking industry towards “no-brainer” safety?" Lecture by Nicola Paltrinieri, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

The visit of Nicola Paltrinieri is organized in collaboration with Valerio Cozzani from the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering.

Oct 12, 2021 from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM

Where Sala Rossa, Via Marsala, 26 Bologna and online on Zoom

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Industry is stepping into its 4.0 phase by implementing and increasingly relaying on cyber-technological systems. Wider networks of sensors may allow for continuous monitoring of industrial process conditions. Enhanced computational power provides the capability of processing the collected “big data”. Early warnings can then be picked and lead to suggestion for proactive safety strategies, or directly initiate the action of autonomous actuators ensuring the required level of system safety. But have we reached these safety 4.0 promises yet, or will we ever reach them? A traditional view on safety defines it as the absence of accidents and incidents. A forward-looking perspective on safety affirms that it involves ensuring that “as many things as possible go right”. However, in both the views there is an element of uncertainty associated to the prediction of future risks and, more subtle, to the capability of possessing all the necessary information for such prediction. This uncertainty does not simply disappear once we apply advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to the infinite series of possible accident scenarios, but it can be found behind modelling choices and parameters setting. In a nutshell, “there ain't no such thing as a free lunch”, i.e. any model claiming superior flexibility usually introduce extra assumptions. This speech will illustrate a series of examples (with emphasis on benefits and limitations) where AI techniques are used to continuously update the evaluation of the safety level in an industrial system. This will allow us to affirm with certain confidence that we are not even close to a “no-brainer” condition in which the responsibility for human and system safety is entirely moved to the machine. However, this shows that such advanced techniques are progressively providing a reliable support for critical decision making and guiding industry towards more risk-informed and safety-responsible planning.

Link to ZOOM: Click here to access