Safety and Resiliency Challenges for Highly Autonomous Intelligent Systems

Cecilia Metra, University of Bologna (Italy), IEEE Computer Society Past-President

Intelligent systems, capable of taking autonomous decisions based on AI algorithms, are becoming more and more widespread in several application fields (autonomous robots, autonomous vehicles, smart factories, smart agriculture, etc.). This thanks to their possible adoption to replace and/or collaborate with humans in harsh environments (hospitals, mines, space, etc.) and/or in difficult jobs (goods delivery, surveillance, etc.). Moreover, autonomous robots (e.g., service robots) and vehicles (e.g., drones) are today’s receiving an increasing interest, due to their possible pivotal role in facing the current pandemic emergency and its aftermath. They are complex systems, requiring intelligence at the edge (for low-latency data acquisition and processing), in the network, and up to the cloud and related services. Since such autonomous intelligent systems are in a closed collaboration with human beings and/or the health of human beings may depend on their operation, the need to guarantee their functional safety and resiliency with respect to hazardous conditions emerges. Enabling to increase the autonomy level of such intelligent systems, thus moving towards a smarter world, mandates to satisfy stronger requirements in terms of their functional safety and resiliency. Safety and resiliency challenges to enable highly autonomous intelligent systems will be discussed.

Bio: Cecilia Metra is a full Professor and the Deputy President of the School of Engineering at the University of Bologna, Italy, where she has worked since 1991, and from which she received a PhD in electronic engineering and computer science. In 2002, she was visiting faculty consultant for Intel Corporation.

She was the 2019 President of the IEEE Computer Society, and she is 2021 IEEE Director-Elect/Division V Delegate-Elect (2022 and 2023 IEEE Director/Division V Delegate).

She is a member of the IEEE Young Professionals Committee (2021), the IEEE European Public Policy Committee – EPPC (2020-2021), the IEEE Smart Village Governing Board (2020-2021), the Systems Council Advisory Committee (2020-2021), the IEEE Conferences Committee (2021-2022). She is the Chair of the EPPC Working Group on ICT, and the Co-Chair of the IEEE Digital Reality Initiative Project on “Reliable, Safe, Secure and Time Deterministic Intelligent Systems”.

She was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing and of Computing Now, and the Associate Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Computers. She contributed to numerous IEEE international conferences/symposia/workshops as General/Program Chair/Co-Chair and technical program committee member. She has published extensively on design for test, reliability and resiliency of integrated circuits and systems.

She is an IEEE Fellow, IEEE CS Golden Core Member, and a member of the IEEE Honor Society IEEE-HKN. She has received two Meritorious Service Awards and six Certificates of Appreciation from the IEEE CS.