In case you missed it(!), last week the AI Forum released our latest research report Towards Our Intelligent Future – an AI Roadmap For New Zealand. The report focuses on how AI can be used to help achieve New Zealand’s existing wellbeing, sustainability and economic goals – for health, transport, business and the environment among some of the many real world uses studied. It also advocates for urgent action on public-private AI investment rather than waiting for a national AI strategy to emerge fully formed. It’s “time to continue talking, but start acting”, to quote the report. The AI Forum is positioned to help facilitate partnerships across New Zealand’s AI ecosystem to action the themes in the report over the coming year.
Check out some of the coverage of the report online: New Zealand Could Fall Behind Without More AI Research (NBR, paywall), Will NZ Fall Behind on AI? by tech commentator Sarah Putt, NZ needs AI to boost the economy and well-being and Health a Clear Candidate For AI Investment. Plus, AI Faces Headwinds in New Zealand.
A reminder that you can download or order a printed copy (printed on sustainably sourced paper, limited print run). Our sincere thanks go to the many contributors, reviewers and research partners who helped along the way.
In what has been a busy few weeks, the AI Forum was invited to present to the Select Committee on Economic Development, Science and Innovation. Myself and Executive Council members Issy Fernando and Rachel Milicich were joined by Professor James MacLaurin from the University of Otago’s Centre for AI and Public Policy, also an AI Forum member. This was the first time that MPs had received a briefing on AI and the discussion centred on the impacts for the economy together with AI for Good – opportunities for humanitarian, environmental and social outcomes. You can watch the presentation and also my follow up interview with Brent Edwards at the NBR here.
In other news:
- Brad Smith, Microsoft President alongside Communications Director Carol Ann Browne has co-authored an important new book Tools and Weapons – The Promise and The Peril of the Digital Age. The book examines technology’s impact on society and how Big Tech can help matters rather than hurt. It includes sections on the recent #ChristchurchCall – the AI Forum team met with Brad and his team when they were in New Zealand earlier this year just after the mosque shootings.
- I was fortunate to catch up with Stefania Druga, who was visiting New Zealand for the recent TEDxChristchurch conference. She is the engine room behind Cognimates, an international education platform where parents and children can learn to program by building games, programming robots and training AI models.
- On the subject of AI education, the Finnish Elements of AI training course to promote better general understanding of AI is finding international success. The course is free to take and recommended!
- Congratulations to Brian Russell and the co-founders of the Nelson AI Institute – recent recipients of a $3.4M Provincial Growth Fund loan.
- Internationally, the Allen Institute’s Aristo AI system passed an 8th Grade science test.
Ngā mihi nui,
Using AI, scientists at AUT have discovered further benefits of mindfulness. The research can help personalised treatment plans for people with depression. Read more.
Congratulations to Text Ferret who were selected to present at Venture Downunder (a partnership between Innovation Bay and NZTE) in Christchurch last week. Read more.
NEWS AND EVENTS
Attend the Enhanced Partnership for Exponential Impact Roadshow on 17 September in Wellington. Its aim is to encourage innovation between Singapore and New Zealand.
Explore business opportunities in Singapore with networking events on 16 September in Christchurch, 19 September in Tauranga and 20 September in Auckland.
Attend the Future of Freight Transport on 17 September in Auckland. Discussion includes government policy, innovations and emerging tech to improve efficiency, safety and sustainability of freight transport.
In international news, here’s five ways the United Kingdom plans to embrace a driverless future. Congratulations to Kiwi led Fuel50 for raising $14 million to bolster employee engagement and retention.
Want to know more about the Internet of Things? Join the New Zealand IoT Alliance at the 2019 IoT Half-Day Conference on 3 October in Auckland. Plus, learn more about the trial project at Kowhai farm here.
The 2019 NZ Cyber Security Summit and the 2019 NZ Digital Identity Summit will be held in Wellington on 16 October. Attend SWITCH Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology 11-13 November.
Please complete the Angel Association’s annual founders survey by 20 September. The Future of Learning is 30 September – 1 October in Christchurch. NetHui 2019 is 3-4 October in Wellington. ITx Rutherford is 9-11 October in Nelson.
Applications for evokeAG 2020 Startup Program close on 13 September. Applications for Deloitte’s inaugural Corporate Entrepreneur Awards close 27 September. Callaghan’s RFP for incubators with deep tech commercialisation experience closes 4 October.