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Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds tremendous potential to enhance human decisions and to avoid cognitive overload and bias in high-stakes scenarios. To date, however, adoption of AI-based support systems has been minimal in settings such as hospitals, courts, and public administrations. Introducing AI assistants in such ecosystems is a sensitive challenge, despite their promise of helping with managing information overload, bias, and influence, and of enhancing the quality of human decision making. As a matter of fact, the rate of adoption of AI-based decision support systems is very low: adoption barriers include perceived challenges to human autonomy, excessive required effort and cognitive load, dissatisfaction with user interfaces, and above all trust issues due to the difficulty of assessing the assumptions, limitations, and capabilities of AI assistants.


TANGO is a €7M EU-funded Horizon Europe project that aims to develop the theoretical foundations and the computational framework for synergistic human-machine decision making. The 4-year project will pave the way for the next generation of human-centric AI systems.

The goal is to fully develop the enormous potential that AI holds in terms of positive impact on individuals, society and economy by establishing a symbiosis between humans and machines: people should feel they can trust the systems they interact with, in terms of reliability of their predictions and decisions, capacity of the systems to understand their needs, and guarantees that they are genuinely aiming at supporting them rather than some undisclosed third party.

The strategy that TANGO will pursue to achieve this objective is based on the following key ingredients:

  • A cognitive theory of mutual understanding and hybrid decision making (HDSS);
  • Cognition-aware eXplainable AI (XAI) paradigms in support of synergistic human-machine interaction and collaboration;
  • A “Human-in-the-loop” co-evolution of human decision making and machine learning models.

The potential impact on individuals and society of the TANGO framework will be evaluated on a pool of real-world use cases of extremely high social impact, to ensure alignment between TANGO scientific activities, tech-oriented ones, and experimental activities. The pilot studies, namely, consist of:

  • supporting women during pregnancy and postpartum;
  • supporting surgical teams in intraoperative decision making;
  • supporting loan officers and applicants in credit lending decision processes;
  • helping public policy makers in designing incentives and allocating funds.

The success of these case studies will foster the adoption of TANGO as the framework of reference for developing a new generation of synergistic AI systems and will strengthen the leadership of Europe in human-centric AI.

Led by the University of Trento, in Italy, the TANGO consortium includes 22 partners, representing 9 different European countries. Among them there are experts in different fields including cognitive and behavioural sciences, various fields of AI, ethics, and law. The case studies showcasing the effectiveness of the TANGO framework in real-world scenarios are supported by partners providing the specific expertise and resources required by each case study.