We are delighted to announce that Prof. Matteo Pasquinelli has won the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant with the research project AIMODELS, which comprises a budget of ca. 2 million euros for a period of five years to advance “the historical epistemology of artificial intelligence.”

The project AIMODELS  identifies in algorithmic modelling the invention at the core of machine learning and, through the history of science and technology of the 20th century, traces the co-evolution of technical and mental models, of model making and model thinking, rather than their equation and reduction as in the mainstream paradigms of AI. Ultimately, the purpose of the project is to highlight the episteme of modelling beyond AI, in the long history of cultural techniques and knowledge systems, in between technological innovation, scientific mentality, and new forms of cultural production and labour automation.

The project is set to start at Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice on 1 January 2024.


Established by the European Commission, the European Research Council awards these grants to support high-level research projects and researchers of excellence. This funding is designed to help researchers truly consolidate their research teams and allow them to carry out trailblazing research, while choosing both the topic of interest and the methodologies to employ.

From the 2022 Consolidator Grants competition, the ERC has selected 321 researchers from 37 countries, for a grand total of 657 million euros in funds from the Horizon Europe project. The ERC estimates that these research projects will create about 1.950 new positions for PhD students, post-doc researchers and other roles in the hosting institutions.