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AI Forum

The World’s AI Principles | Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning

Kia ora Reader,

CogX, the world’s largest festival of AI, was an amazing experience and an opportunity to gauge how New Zealand’s AI community compares to the rest of the world. Read my CogX highlights here.

Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning is a newly published, comprehensive paper, co-authored by some of the world’s leading international academics and tech industry researchers. The paper shines a light on how ML techniques can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help society adapt to a changing climate. You can keep up with developments on the website which accompanies the paper,

In New Zealand, Christchurch Airport has announced stage two of their autonomous vehicle trial. Also, in the first episode of The Spinoff’s new podcast, AUT’s Mahsa Mohaghegh and Microsoft’s Chimene Bonhomme discuss AI, algorithms and what they may mean for our future. 

Thanks to AI Forum Council member Rachel Kelly for sharing recent work from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. The visualisation featured above includes  more than 32 sets of AI Principles and further highlights the increasing level of AI Ethics activity. The first thing that struck me was the absence of any work in this space from China, reflecting a perceived Western ‘bubble’ within which these conversations have been taking place. Then, almost as if on cue, the Chinese Government issued a series of principles to regulate the research and application of AI, in an attempt to ensure the ‘safe, controllable and responsible use’ of the technology amid rising privacy concerns in the country. I’m looking forward to seeing how this dialogue between the West and East develops in the next few years.

In case you missed it, in May 2019 when the 36 member Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) formally adopted the Recommendation on Artificial Intelligence which includes the first international standards agreed by governments for the responsible stewardship of trustworthy AI:

  • sustainable development and well-being;
  • human-centred values and fairness;
  • transparency and explainability;
  • robustness, security and safety; and
  • accountability.

Finally, please join us for our next events on AI Adoption in Aotearoa New Zealand. Save the date for the evening panel discussions on 24 July in Wellington and 30 July in Auckland. Watch this space for more details!

Ngā mihi nui

Ben Reid
Executive Director

PS: If you haven’t already, please don’t forget to complete our member survey.  It will take less than five minutes and will help us better understand how the AI Forum can better serve our members and the wider AI community. 


HMI Technologies is at the forefront of the transport tech revolution. They are best known for developing Ohmio autonomous vehicles, currently being trialled in Christchurch, Sydney and Melbourne. 

University of Auckland Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon has welcomed the appointment of Professor Witbrock, who will lead the Broad AI lab.  This follows a substantial boost in research funding from the Government. Learn more.


In local news, Sustainable Coastlines co-founder Camden Howitt joined Enlighten Designs to show how AI is helping combat waste on our beaches. Their innovation recently received an AI for Earth Grant.   

Why is most AI fronted by female characters?  University of Auckland’s Elizabeth Broadbent and AUT’s Lena Waizenegger share their views and discuss if AI can be genderless?

Are you a New Zealand company interested in participating in the Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology (SWITCH), 11-15 November? Email NTZE for more information.

Interested in exploring personal digital identity? Register before 16 July for early bird prices for Identity Conference 2019 – Identity as taonga: now and in the future, 26-27 August in Wellington.

If you would like to connect with the AI community in Prague, visit

Join EdTechNZ and TechWomen tomorrow  in Christchurch to discuss how to achieve diversity in the tech sector.

The New Zealand Esri User Conference is 12-14 August in Auckland. Save the date for the 2019 NZ Cyber Security Summit on 16 October in Wellington.

Entries for the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA) close 30 June. Applications for the Callaghan Innovation R&D Experience Grants close 31 August.  

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