Internet of Things & Artificial Intelligence

A new revolution is on the way.

According to experts, its effects will be even deeper than those produced by the arrival of personal computers in our daily lives: the Internet of Things (IoT) will reinvent the way we live in domestic spaces, but will also result in professional applications capable of designing a new model of industry, with unprecedented relations between man and machine.

The Industry 4.0 National Plan and the call for tenders recently published by the MISE (Ministry of Economic Development) for the establishment of centres of high industrial specialization are clear examples of the attention that Italian and European institutions are reserving to what will soon become a pivotal aspect of industrial development.

This step will require thorough consideration, and the consequent actions will have to reflect an ethical, social, and political dimension that would greatly benefit from an Olivettian approach.


Throughout Olivetti’s history, already with Camillo and even more with Adriano, the factory had always been a tool of emancipation of the person and of the community.

The factory of “goods” was intended to become a factory of Good, in order to distribute not only products and wages, but also social services, culture, democracy, and beauty. This was made possible by the application of organizational and social models that – by redefining the relationship between man and machine – were able to mitigate the fatigue, repetitiveness, and alienation of work, whilst also making the factory a tool at the service of a new model of Community.

When we ask ourselves how we can ensure that the new, exorbitant technological possibilities improve the society as a whole, and we think about how we can prevent the excessive invasiveness of the new generation of technological products, we are just moving in the same direction as that followed by Ivrea in the past.

Humanizing technology is the challenge that digitalization and the development of artificial intelligence are posing for the near future, and the Olivettian approach can be considered as the archetype of a way of innovating that puts man at the centre, focusing on his needs, aspirations, and sensitivities.

The realisation of successful products for the global market is not the only concern: our digital future is plenty of social, moral, and ethical challenges.

“Progress is by now our most important product.”
Anonym writer with Lettera 22, Fifth Avenue, N. Y.