Artificial intelligence and communication: Pierfrancesco Melucci, an alumnus of the Professional Master in Data Science and Business Analytics and data scientist at Musixmatch, tells us why, today more than ever, it is important to have an analytical approach to data, which can become a useful key to combining very different disciplines.
What is your background and what was the motivation that led you to delve into the world of Big Data?
I studied economics and finance and graduated from the conservatory (classical piano). At the end of both these paths, I first began my specialization in jazz piano, completing a two-year degree at the conservatory and then attending a master’s course in sound engineering, which allowed me to better combine analytical and artistic training. During this last phase of my training, I was able to learn the fundamentals of programming and gain a general overview of the world of data analysis and big data. What struck me was the versatility of this new field of study: I learned how the main approaches linked to the world of data can be applied to disciplines that are apparently very distant from each other, from economics to music. Given the diversification of my educational background, I have always been looking for a way to achieve a synthesis, and data represent this synthesis. For this reason, I decided to undertake further training focused on the world of Big Data and Data analysis, a choice that has led me to work now as a Data Scientist in the field of artificial intelligence.
How important, among the various skills offered by the Master’s program, is the ability to improve corporate communication on issues that can benefit from accurate data analysis and how important is the ability to make the results of one’s work easily available to colleagues?
The ability to communicate clearly is becoming more and more central in cross-skilled teams. My experience in the world of work has been and still is essential to be able to explain technical problems clearly and effectively within a team whose output is not the resolution of a problem, but the creation of a product or of a User Experience. Often this skill is also fundamental for communication with teams of a more technical nature, back-end teams for example. In summary, good communication skills are fundamental to avoid the problem of compartmentalization of the various areas of the company, it is a key competence.
Artificial intelligence and cyber security: two key topics for the future of businesses and two fundamental tools that require constant updating. What’s your take on the role of these two elements and the importance of properly reading and analyzing data?
AI is progressively acquiring an increasingly greater role in any field. There are two aspects to consider: the need for constant updating and a clear understanding of what Artificial Intelligence means and how it should be used. As there is more and more demand to use AI for any kind of task, there is a need for a person who is able to assess, for any given case, what the use of AI means, who can analyze the state of the art of unsupervised/supervised learning approaches for similar cases and, if needed, who can also discourage the use of these approaches based on a cost/benefit analysis. Therefore, having specific training on AI topics turns out to be a key competency in Data Science.
How has the interdisciplinary and highly analytical structure of the Master’s program affected or is affecting your education?
The Master’s gave me a good insight into the complex and varied world of data and Artificial Intelligence. I learned the basic principles of data cleaning and data mining and in general skills about the techniques of unsupervised learning. This training has proved to be a good starting point when I entered the world of work, as I could start immediately to deal with specific tasks being able to examine different options for their resolution.