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Our Open House at Maker Faire Rome 2021


“Science is a never-ending journey towards a free and a better world. At CSL, we care for the journey and the destination”. The metaphor of journey has been the suitable one to refer to, first to develop the concept and then to describe the Sony CSL Open House experience that took place on the occasion of the Maker Faire Rome 2021. It has been a three days journey inside technology, innovation and shared knowledge and it was a really special occasion for us, since we have been celebrating the 25th anniversary of our lab foundation.

The Sony exhibition area, where we were joined by Sony Europe’s other divisions: SSS Europe and Professional Solutions Europe, has been very crowded during the three days of the event and people, although all the limitations against Covid-19 have been respected, had the opportunity to wander through the different teams’ research areas spanning from Creativity to Sustainability, from Language to Music. The researchers from each team showcased their own projects to the public giving also the idea that every single project was both a single expression of a unique research work and, at the same time, a joint walk among the paths of really diverse research topics where cross skills, approaches and interests did converge. 

The broadcast studio set up as an AV production and archive solution, was the icing on the cake, because it became the stage for short and informal chattering during the early morning, for all the panels about the various topics and for all the numerous interviews to Sony CSL Paris researchers, even though these have been mostly conducted at the various stands, let’s say, on the field.  Everything was live streamed on the Sony CSL Paris YouTube Channel!

Three days of innovation

8th of October

After the opening conference, where Hiroaki Kitano gave his maiden speech, the first day of the fair opened with the usual “Coffee Maker”, the daily streep aiming at informing the public about the program, the anticipations and the curiosities. Then a panel about the “Past and the Future of the Sony Computer Science Labs” was held by Vittorio Loreto and participated by Hiroaki Kitano, Lana Sinapayen and Luciano Pietronero. Thanks to the presence of the Sony CSL CEO and the representatives from the different Sony CSL labs, (Tokyo, Kyoto, Paris) the occasion was the right one to institutionally announce the opening of the new office in Rome at the Centro Fermi premises through the presence of its director Luciano Pietronero. After the panel there was the first round interviews of the morning: protagonist the Language Team with the team leader Remi Van Trijp and then with Martina Galletti and Michael Anslow. During the afternoon there was a second panel about the “Scenarios for post pandemic cities” held by daniela Patti Architect and Urban Planner hosting Elsa Arcuate, Professor of Complexity Science at the London’s Global University, Matteo Gattola, Founder and CTO of Envision, Bernardo Monechi, Scientist at Sony CSL Paris, Giulia Lucertini, PhD at IUAV University, Lucia Tahan, Architect and experience designer.

After the second panel, the day ended with the second round of interviews, all related to the topic of “the city of the future”. We had Bernardo Monechi, from the Creativity Team at Sony CSL Paris, who spoke about the 15MinCity project and the Kreyon City project and Matteo Gattola, Founder and CTO of our partner Envision who spoke about the design of a Smart City and the Private Public Partnership towards the digital transformation of cities.

9th of October

After the “Coffee Maker” the broadcast studio became the set of the panel “Creativity with Artificial Intelligence in modern music production”held by Michael Turbot from the Sony CSL Paris Music Team together with Théis Bazin. The panel hosted some important guests of the field such as Uele Lamore who is one of the first artists the Sony CSL Paris Music Team has collaborated with for the production of an EP, Sophian Fanen a French music journalist who worked for Radio and Press and a very well known music specialist for his interest in the music business and Ikuko Matsusaka-San, the technology promotion officer of CSL Tokyo. The day continued with the morning interviews session to Michael Turbot, the Technology Promotion Office Manager at Sony CSL Paris Music Team, about his experience in boosting the collaboration with artists, with Théis Bazin and Gaëtan Hadjeres who gave their contribution to the divulgation of the most innovative advancements in music production. During the afternoon another panel was hosted in our broadcast studio facing one of the most debated topics of the moment: disinformation. Tha panel “Toward Post-Fake Era”was held by Pietro Gravino from the Creativity Team of Sony CSL Paris and hosted important guests like Giulia Boldi, lawyer and researcher on Constitutional Law, Claudio Cappon, general Secretary of COPEAM, Journalism Trust Initiative, former General Director of the Italian public broadcaster RAI and Vice President of the European Broadcasting Union for 6 years. Marco Delmastro, managing Director AGCOM, the Italian Authority for Guarantee in Communications, economist PhD, and former Director of Economics & Statistics at AGCOM, Anja Kaspersen, senior Fellow at Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and Fabiana Zollo, assistant Professor of Computer Science and Research Fellow in the Center for the Humanities & Social Change at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. 

The day ended with the second session of interviews during the afternoon, when the rest of the Creativity Team, who was present at the event, gave a detailed overview of the projects they are working on. Pietro Gravino, in line with the panel he held, spoke about Cartesio, the project that studies the online information system, then Giulio Prevedello spoke about Foremusic, a project to predict the success of musical tracks and last, but not least, Pietro Gravin together with Ruggiero Lo Sardo from La Sapienza University of Rome, talked about WeWrite, the project that explores new ways of writing.

All the panels hosted at the TV Studio

10th of October

After the last “Coffee Maker” the day continued with the panel “Sustainable Agriculture: Between reconnecting with nature and engineering a better future” held by Peter Hanappe the team leader of the Sustainability Team at Sony CSL Paris. The panel explored the development scenario for small organic micro farms together with Masa Funabashi, researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories Tokyo and Founder of SynecO, Linda Bedouet, farmer and author, Les jardins d’Hayden and Chris Giotitsas from the Tallinn University of Technology.

Then the interviews of the day moved outside at the sustainability team with an amazing demonstration of the Romi Rover and Plant Imager functioning, with Douglas Boari and Nabil Ait Taleb. Then, again in the broadcast studio, Aliénor Lahlou and David Colliaux gave their contribution to the divulgation of other projects from the sustainability team. In the afternoon we closed the event with the final greetings by our director Vittorio Loreto.  

All together for our final greetings

Find all the info about our Open House at Maker Faire Rome 2021 here!