printer icon
Ben Reid

AI-DAY 2018 – What a day!

A huge thank you to everyone who supported AI-DAY 2018 on 28 March.  This landmark event hosted 500 attendees from New Zealand’s nascent AI community with inspiring, informative presentations and discussions from 23 speakers on the day.  This was followed by five technical deep dive workshops the next day.

Our mission was to connect the AI ecosystem in New Zealand and engage everyone with knowledge and conversations to accelerate the many opportunities from AI.  We hope the impact of AI-DAY 2018 will be enduring for you and your team.

Special thanks to AI-DAY event partners Microsoft, Westpac, AUT, IBM, Jade Software, Qrious, Pure Storage and Soul Machines, MC Dr Michelle Dickinson and all the fantastic speakers for making the event such a success.  Kudos is also due for the amazing event production team: Justin Flitter from, AI Forum Operations Manager Chantal Thomas and LoTech.

Videos of each AI-DAY presentation and panel discussions will be posted on YouTube within the week.  Until then, check out social media highlights at #AIDAY18.  We had such a blast we have committed to doing it all again in 2019!  Stay tuned for the AI-DAY 2019 event announcement and super early bird tickets, on sale soon.

Meanwhile in other news, our focus has quickly turned to the forthcoming release of our New Zealand AI Impacts research report on 2 May.  Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand  will be available in both print and e-book and contains key findings and recommendations about how our country can maximise the opportunities for the benefit of all New Zealanders. We look forward to sharing more details at events throughout the country during May.

Following publication, the AI Forum will establish several new workstreams to help deliver the report’s recommendations.  This is your opportunity to be more involved in our important work.  If your organisation isn’t signed up yet as an AI Forum member, please make sure that you join here to be part of our 2018 programme

Best Regards
Ben Reid
Executive Director

Be a mentor and inspire girls into tech

Check out #twnz18 it’s  #goodfortheworld


Join Michael Cameron at Unity Books in Wellington for the launch of Realising the Potential of Driverless Vehicles.  Please RSVP to

The official launch of Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand will be held on 2 May in Wellington, 8 May in Auckland and Christchurch (date tbc), due to limited spaces these are invite only events.

Join AI Forum members on 19 April in Wellington for The Big Issues for Energy. AI Happy Hour returns with the Chatbot Party  on 12 April in Auckland. The 31st Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence  will be held 11-14 December in Wellington and is currently calling for submissions. Register for IBM’s Think conference in New Zealand on 1 May in Auckland. 

Check out the AUT AI Initiative, detailing AI related activities and research.In local news, is New Zealand ready for AI? Listen to RNZ’s Insight documentary here. AI Forum’s Ben Reid also spoke on Morning Report about real life uses of AI. Attend the Back Office Transformation conference 30 April – 1 May in Auckland, including how to optimise processes with automation, machine learning and AI.  Contact us for details of discounts for AI Forum members.

Congratulations to AI Forum’s executive council member, Frances Valintine for her appointment as Chair for the Government’s Digital Advisory Group.   Also, executive council member, Craig Bunyan, ranked 4th in the CIO100!The 2018 Hi-Tech Awards  shines a spotlight on diversity

Register for the Alumni event on 24 May and the Gala Dinner on 25 May, both in Christchurch.The TechLeaders Executive recently met with Minister Curran to discuss how industry can work with Government to prepare for digital disruption at work.  Read the briefing paper here.Read Callaghan Innovation’s timely contribution to the AI conversation, Thinking Ahead: Innovation through Artificial Intelligence.  The Economist has also published a special report on AI in business.

Applications for the Vodafone Xone Accelerator close 15 April.  Also New Horizons for Women Trust: Hine Kahukura Awards.  The Edmund Hillary Fellowship is accepting cohort 3 applications until 20 April.

Be involved in ShadowTech, inspiring girls into tech.  Sign up as a mentor; 21 May in Wellington, 22 May in Christchurch, 23 May in Auckland, 25 May in Palmerston North, 7 June in Hamilton and 26 June in Dunedin.

Is your company on our AI ecosystem map?  If not, please email us. 

A special welcome this month to all our new members. If you would like to know more about joining the AI Forum, check out our joining page.

It’s not too late to be involved in Techweek’18.  Final event submissions close 13 April.  Check out the headline events;  10 Billion Mouths, The Fourth Revolution or Creative Realities.  Don’t forget to invite overseas contacts to the Innovation Tour too.

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.