Fastweb opens its NeXXt AI Factory

Press Release

Fastweb accelerates Italy’s path towards innovation presenting NeXXt AI Factory, the first NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD AI supercomputer operating in Italy

The inauguration ceremony  in the presence of Walter Renna, CEO of Fastweb, Augusto Di Genova, Chief Enterprise Officer of Fastweb, Andrea Santagata, CEO of Mondadori Media S.p.A., Alessandro Fermi, Councilor for University, Research and Innovation of the Lombardy Region, Massimiliano Capitanio, Commissioner of the Communications Regulatory Authority, Brando Benifei, MEP and co-rapporteur of the AI ​​Act, Gianluigi Greco, Gianluigi Greco of the Coordination Committee on AI at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calabria has the aim is to pave the way for artificial intelligence in Italy and help marking the start of a path to bring Italy to the center of the Artificial Intelligence revolution.

In December, Fastweb signed an agreement with NVIDIA for the purchase of 31 NVIDIA DGX H100 systems, becoming the first company in the country to secure an AI supercomputing cluster based on the NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD architecture. Following installation at a state-of-the-art data centre in the province of Bergamo, NeXXt AI Factory, the most powerful NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD AI supercomputer owned by a private company in Italy, is now fully operational.

NeXXt AI Factory is a technologically sophisticated system for the development of AI and Gen AI applications and is the centre of an ecosystem dedicated to innovation. Starting today, Fastweb is making the immense computing power of the NeXXt AI Factory and the first release of its Fastweb MIIA (Italian Artificial Intelligence Model) language model, which leverages NVIDIA AI Enterprise software, available to start-ups, companies, universities and public administrations for the development of AI and Gen AI services and applications. While continuing the training of MIIA, Fastweb is also enhancing it through newly signed agreements aimed at expanding the dataset used.

After signing agreements in recent months with Bignami Editori, Fastweb has entered into further partnerships with Istat (the Italian Statistics Institute) and Mondadori Media S.p.A.. These agreements have created the largest and most reliable Italian-language dataset, with 1,500 billion tokens (words), equivalent to 11 million books, ensuring a solid and authoritative foundation for the continued evolution of MIIA.

Thanks also to the collaborations with Sapienza University of Rome and University of Milan-Bicocca and the immense computational power of NeXXt AI Factory, MIIA will continue to be trained in Italian using only national, high-quality, secure data, in full compliance with national and EU privacy and copyright regulations. A new release of MIIA is expected by the end of this year.

To ensure the compliance with a “human centric” ethical approach in the development of AI services and applications, Fastweb has also decided to create an Advisory Board made up of a team of independent experts who will monitor the various training phases of MIIA. Gianluigi Greco of the Coordination Committee on AI at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calabria, Mariarosa Taddeo, Professor of Digital Ethics and Defense Technologies, Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University and Mario Rasetti, professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the Polytechnic of Turin and Chairman of the Science Board of CENTAI will contribute with their activities to certifying the transparency of the governance of Fastweb’s linguistic model and compliance with all current regulations.

NeXXt AI Factory is seamlessly integrated into Fastweb’s infrastructure ecosystem, connected via the company’s fibre network to Fastweb’s cloud platform, which spans four data centres and ten edge nodes across Italy. Its integration with Fastweb’s four Security Operation Centres helps deliver high levels of security, protection and reliability.

Thanks to the combined features of NeXXt AI Factory and MIIA – including their robustness, high level of security, data localisation in Italy, transparent governance and compliance with all applicable Italian and EU regulations – Fastweb’s supercomputer can be used by both Fastweb and third parties to develop vertical applications of generative artificial intelligence in specific, critical sectors such as healthcare, finance, industry and education. This will contribute to the establishment of a national AI system, helping benefit all private and public entities that manage sensitive or strategic data for the country.

“With NeXXt AI Factory and MIIA, we are defining our approach to artificial intelligence to help enable Italy’s full independence and technological sovereignty,” said Walter Renna, CEO of Fastweb. “AI is the latest milestone in our strategy to offer our corporate and public administration customers an increasingly integrated ecosystem of next-generation digital solutions, from high-performance, reliable connectivity to cloud services, 5G and cybersecurity services. We are now fully prepared to work with them on advanced artificial intelligence solutions.”

“Nations worldwide are recognizing the need for sovereign AI infrastructure to harness economic opportunities while preserving cultural identity,” said Carlo Ruiz, vice president, enterprise solutions and operations, EMEA at NVIDIA. “Our collaboration with Fastweb to develop Italy’s first enterprise-focused foundation model helps build a robust AI ecosystem in the country and drive innovation at a national level.”

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