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Ben Reid

New Zealand’s AI Capability Continues To Grow

We enjoyed co-hosting last week’s high quality speaker panel event, AI in Health: Balancing the use of data with privacy together with partners Microsoft and IAPPANZ in Auckland. Healthcare is a crucial domain to leverage the benefits of AI technologies, from improving melanoma detectionhelping physicians with radiology diagnosis to virtual medical assistant chatbots.

New Zealand has the opportunity to be at the forefront of digital healthcare and AI will play a significant role – initiatives such as the NZ Precision Driven Health Partnership are right now working to improve patient outcomes by combining and learning from all available data. Read the event highlights here.

As flagged last month, I recently had the privilege to attend the inaugural Partnership on AI (PAI) agenda setting workshops in Berlin. The international event was attended by an audience of senior AI technologists, policy think tanks and academics, to develop principles and best practices to ensure advancements in Artificial Intelligence technology benefit people and society. It was the ideal time to introduce PAI’s new Executive Director Terah Lyons (who was instrumental in the development of the Obama administration’s AI strategy paper Preparing For The Future Of Artificial Intelligence). Being engaged with the PAI is a unique opportunity for New Zealand to be engaged at the forefront of international AI Policy debate and benefit from the work the PAI is doing. We look forward to continuing to participate in the PAI’s work streams in 2018 and if you are interested in AI Policy, please get in touch with me.

Meanwhile, we have been busy shaping our AI-DAY 2018 conference produced in partnership with the good folks at In addition to having the amazing Dr Michelle Dickinson aka NanoGirl as our MC for the day, we are excited to announce the first speakers from some New Zealand’s most exciting AI practitioners: Soul Machines’ Greg Cross, Dr Kathryn Hempstalk, Cacophony Project’s Grant Ryan and the team from from Netsafe – who recently made the news with the launch of their email bot Re:Scam. Sign up for alerts, early bird tickets go on sale this month!

Gain the benefits of being part of our focused community. If your organisation is actively investing in AI, or just in the early stages of thinking about it, join the Forum now. This month, we are consulting with members to prioritise work streams for 2018. We’re keen to know what you want from the Forum, so please fill in this short survey.  

I look forward to celebrating with you at our end of year events in AucklandWellington and Christchurch.

Ben Reid
Executive Director

#AIDAY2018 early bird tickets on sale soon

Join the Global Future Summit


Join us in Wellington on 30 November to celebrate 2017! Or Auckland on 6 December and Christchurch on 7 December. Connect, network and toast the year that was.

$12b is lost globally every year to phishing scams. Netsafe has introduced Re:Scam to reply to scam emails, wasting scammers time so they have less time to pursue real people! In local news, futurist Frances Valintine urged New Zealand to embrace AI technology. Listen to the interview here.

Last week, Soul Machines announced a partnership with Autodesk to launch AVA. Founding member Chapman Tripp has launched a new AI service for legal due diligence. The NZSA hosts AI innovator, Greg Cross on 12 December in Auckland. The Machine Learning & AI Developers Conference is now calling for submissions for presentations at the conference in Santa Clara, California, USA.

Steering the conversation away from ‘the robots are taking our jobs’, the TechLeaders Executive recently called for urgent action on AI and automation. Read their briefing paper on Industry, Education and the Workplace of Tomorrow.

Be part of Techweek’18. Join the event planning forum and find the sponsors, speakers and support you need to run an awesome event next May. Invite your international contacts to attend the Techweek’18 Innovation Tour.

A special welcome this month to our new membersVictoria University of WellingtonGleeTechInductiveAmbit and ChristchurchNZ. If you want to know more about joining the AI Forum, check out the joining page on our website.

In other news, read the Economist’s special report, Re-educating Rita. Read how AI is impacting Human Resources. Also, AI in Education: Where it’s at, where it’s headed.

Want to know more?  Sign up for the AI Forum NZ update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!

Ben Reid I head up the AI Forum of New Zealand - working to harness the power of AI to help bring about a prosperous and inclusive future for New Zealand and the world. The AI Forum NZ brings together technology firms, businesses, universities and the government to connect, promote and advance the national AI ecosystem.