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AI Forum

Seasonal Changes

Kia ora,

As Ben sets foot in Nepal for a well earned sabbatical, I have set foot on a new journey with the AI Forum. Not content with one change, last week at our Annual Meeting, members elected a new executive council and I am thrilled to have the input of more expert minds from different backgrounds to share their experience. We are also gearing up to launch the final sector report Artificial Intelligence for Financial and Insurance Services in New Zealand from our abundant winter of research crops. Join us for a preview and panel discussion in Auckland on Thursday and next week in Wellington. Meanwhile, we are still receiving plenty of positive press coverage for our last two sector specific reports including calls for more action on AI in agriculture sector and benefits to the health sector. In the United Kingdom (UK) AI has been approved to use in York after impressive trial results reduced emergency admissions by up to 30 percent a year, which costs the National Health Service (NHS) an estimated £6 billion a year.

I smiled at the irony of a crowd funded, bias correcting solution based on the idea of human testers. Applause uses its worldwide community of vetted human testers to detect bias and input into training and testing datasets (how we train algorithms before being used) in order to represent real life conditions and scale across multiple locations and circumstances. No longer, tested on animals but tested on humans!

Over the past two to three years, the AI Forum has worked tirelessly to sow seeds of AI into New Zealand’s fertile land and minds. I feel it is time for a season of doing, advancing, cultivating AI adoption and application to realise the considerable advantages of AI. While we continue to connect and promote our members and the wider community, we will work to provide more neutral guidance, stimulate crucial discourse and share knowledge from our collective intelligence and wisdom. I look forward to seeing the new buds breaking through in the spring season with hope of abundant AI for all.

Last week, it was great to see the Hon Minister Faafoi’s new Strategy for a Digital Public Service, signaling progress in evolving Government to make New Zealand a leading digital nation. We hope an AI strategy is next!

Recently, I joined the Department of Internal Affairs and World Economic Forum for the first scoping workshop, Reimagining Regulation in an Age of AI. The workshop perfectly demonstrated the high level of interest and enthusiasm present in people across sectors, public and private organisations and Government departments. I look forward to supporting its ongoing efforts to facilitate new collaboration.

This week, I am also delighted to be joining Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern for a breakfast event where she will provide an update on the Future of Work Programme.

I believe New Zealand has a real opportunity to become a world leader in collaborative, inclusive, transparent and mindful AI and if we continue to come together, we can build these important principles into our AI foundations and strategy for New Zealand. It is incredibly important to share case studies, innovations and news that demonstrate how AI can positively impact significant parts of our lives. Please let me know if you have exciting news to share as we look to further showcase our members achievements.

I look forward to seeing you at our events in the coming weeks and months.

Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua.

Ngā mihi nui


News and Events

Join us for the Artificial Intelligence in Insurance report preview and panel discussion on Thursday 21 November in Auckland.

Register for the Artificial Intelligence in Banking and Financial Services report preview and panel discussion on Wednesday 27 November in Wellington.

Be part of the movement using AI in health. Register to attend the AI Symposium on Wednesday in Hamilton. 

In local news, AI will soon help reduce breast cancer deaths. Google recently shared their support of the Manaiakalani Digital Fluency Intensive which is helping New Zealand teachers learn digital skills.

In other news, view the 2019 TIN report key highlights. Following the Digital Skills Hui earlier in the year, read the post-event briefing paper. Plus, the latest on securing New Zealand businesses against the next generation of cyber attack.

Join NZTech and MBIE and help develop an Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) for the digital tech sector.  Please share your views on 26 November in Auckland, 28 November in Wellington, 2 December in Dunedin, 3 December in Hamilton, 4 December in Christchurch and 9 December in Tauranga.

Meet Flying Kiwis and young achievers. Attend the NZ Hi-Tech Awards alumni event and launch event on 27 November in Auckland. Also, 3 December in Wellington and 4 December in Christchurch. Don’t forget to join the Xero Small Business Roadshow, touring nationwide until 5 December.

Access your 10 percent member discount for Advancing Digital IT and Law, 25-26 November and Advancing Women in Technical Industries and Roles, 25 November, both in Auckland.

Applications for the xone Partners Series corporate accelerator close on 29 November. Empower our next generation of environmental innovators. Applications for #cprize2019 close on 8 December. 

Register now for MobileTECH Ag 2020. Explore the new agritech story, Powered by Place. Have you joined the free online platform Scale-Up New Zealand? Watch our interviews with #TechWomenNZ here.  

2020 dates: Register for MedCan 2020 on 19 March in Auckland. The International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems is 9-13 May. The AI for Good Global Summit is also scheduled for May.

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.