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AI Forum

New R&D Tax Credits | AI and NZ Cyber Strategy | Recognition for Alan Turing, “Father of AI”

Kia Ora readers,

We’re looking forward to getting the AI Forum community together and hearing from expert AI panelists for discussing AI Adoption in Aotearoa this Wednesday at Victoria University  in Wellington and next Tuesday at IBM in Auckland.  If you haven’t already registered please do as soon as possible so that our algorithm for refreshments is functioning correctly!

A warm welcome to new AI Forum Executive Council members Professor Michael Witbrock, University of Auckland and Christopher Laing, Head of AI at Xero. This Wednesday the Council is meeting for our annual strategy session to plan forward for the year ahead.  As always, if you have any suggestions about what you would like to see as part of the AI Forum’s ongoing programme, please let us know

In case you missed it, the Government recently released an update to theNational Cyber Security strategy, including a short mention of AI:

“The emergence of AI is an example of a technological shift where the impact for cyber security is largely unknown.” 

A read through 2017’s seminal Malicious AI report provides a deeper analysis, with numerous threat examples and potential mitigation approaches.

A few quick links:

Our hosts for tomorrow’s event, Victoria University of Wellington, have a huge amount of AI research activity underway. You can also check out the lectures for the Introduction to AI course with over 200 students every year.
Finally, in the United Kingdom, Alan Turing’s image will feature on the new 50 pound note

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand,” said Bank of England governor Mark Carney. In 1950, Alan Turing invented the Turing Test to test a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, a human.

Ngā mihi nui

Ben Reid
Executive Director


Iris Data Science has been in the news recently with its facial recognition neural network for sheep!  Watch how SheepNN can help farmers tell sheep apart.  Read more.

Can Geographic Information Systems (GIS) make AI smarter?  Matt Lythe of Lynker Analytics explores the potential for GIS data to train and build better machine learning models.  Read more.


Last week, Minister Twyford released the Government’s strategy for drones, Aviation for the Automated Age.  Read the report here.  Meanwhile, a Dutch supermarket is trialling driverless vehicles for grocery deliveries.

Microsoft’s 2019 Voice Report shows that use has increased from 23 percent in 2018 to 45 percent in 2019.  Gartner reports 75 percent of households will have at least one smart speaker by 2020.  However, The Information questions whether digital assistants are still the next big thing?  New IDC research shows half of all AI projects fail for one in four companies.

The National Retraining Scheme in the United Kingdom, will help workers whose jobs may become obsolete as a result of automation.  Meanwhile, the Royal Society explores network driven differences in mobility and optimal transitions among automatable jobs.

UpStartersNZ shares five lessons from Māori innovators.  Learn how cultural values can set us apart on the world stage.  IVOW AI’s latest report is Cultural IQ in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.  This follows the publication of Can Artificial Intelligence Create Culturally-Conscious Stories?

NZSA is calling for entries to itsannual An Angel at my Table pitching event on 13 August.  The Canterbury Tech Summit is 12 September.

Save the date for the annual Indo-Pacific Dialogue: Beyond 2020  on 15 August in Auckland.  The Identity Conference 2019 is 26-27 August in Wellington.

MBIE is seeking data scientists for a bilateral scoping workshop in Singapore in October.

Entries for the Deloitte Fast 50 close on 2 August.  Applications for theCallaghan Innovation R&D Experience Grants close 31 August.  Callaghan’s  RFP for incubators with deep tech commercialisation experience closes 4 October.

The New Zealand Esri User Conference is 12-14 August in Auckland.  The 2019 NZ Cyber Security Summit is 16 October in Wellington.  The International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems is being held in Auckland in May, 2020.  The AI for Good Global Summit is also scheduled for May.

Don’t forget to register for our next events on 24 July in Wellington and 30 July in Auckland.

AI Forum The AI Forum brings together New Zealand’s artificial intelligence community, working together to harness the power of AI technologies to enable a prosperous, inclusive and thriving future New Zealand.