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AI Forum

AI Forum news – engage and innovate

Mai nga Kuri a Whārei ki Tihirau
Mai Wairakei ki  te Kaukauroa
Mai Maketu ki Tongariro
Ko Megan Tapsell ahau

Nau mai and welcome to our AI Forum Aotearoa newsletter. I am Megan Tapsell, the Chair of AI Forum Aotearoa and whilst Emma Naji our Executive Director temporarily steps back for personal reasons, you will be hearing more from me. Recently we had our strategy refresh and the Executive Council has been working hard at delivering some of our key industry engagement priorities. We have some exciting times ahead and will share more as we begin planning for our forthcoming Annual Meeting in November.

In May, we invited you to take part in a study regarding New Zealand organisation’s current AI enablement and usage, and the gaps and opportunities to accelerate our progress to an AI-enabled future. Subsequently, Qrious are preparing to launch their State of AI Report, presenting the results of the nationwide study and I am looking forward to diving into it! They have kindly provided us with a preview, explore it here.

Currently, we are developing a new way for members to be more engaged with the AI Forum’s work by introducing Special Working Group’s (SWG’s). The SWG’s will be designed to connect members through a shared interest or common goal, by providing the opportunity for members to collaborate on a specific project. Unlike the previous working groups, which existed for long periods of time, these groups will exist for approximately four months, or until the work is complete, for example, a position paper or research. At the end of each SWG, the members will share their work during an AI Forum event.

We are looking for Auckland speakers to join the AI Forum and AgriTech’s October Connect Event, where we will be exploring the role of technology innovation in creating a greener, brighter future for Aotearoa. Food and fibre production is a strong part of New Zealand’s farming history. However, one of its greatest challenges is reducing potential environmental impacts, improving water and soil quality, animal welfare, biosecurity, reducing greenhouse gases and producing more plant-based food. If you or your organisation are working on the opportunities and challenges in addressing environmental outcomes with technology, please contact us.

In this month’s round up of AI news, explore how the United Kingdom is aiming to lead the way in AI that cares about humanity. A new report says this will only be achieved if more people from non-tech and diverse backgrounds choose to work in the field.

In Australia, researchers are using AI to forecast drought conditions. The trial reviewed five years’ worth of data for the Ross River catchment near Townsville. The system was able to accurately predict key indicators of drought, three to six months ahead of time. Dr Datta said the system’s potential uses could be a game-changer for farmers and urban water management.

Meanwhile, AI is helping predict which COVID-19 patients will require a ventilator. The new tool was developed by scanning nearly 900 patients who were diagnosed in 2020. It is able to predict ventilator need with 84 percent accuracy, leading to early identification of those at risk.

A new AI solution that uses a smartphone to assess external damage to vehicles could be greatly beneficial for the insurance industry and disaster recovery. Once a video of a vehicle is uploaded, the tool can recognise what parts are damaged. It can also interact with the person taking the video to request specific additional information and protects against fraud.

The global debate over how to handle computer created innovation continues. The United States of America has denied AI as an inventor, claiming only humans can hold a patent. A ruling in Australia has favoured the innovation, but the patent office is appealing the decision.

We want your involvement and are always keen to hear what our industry partners have to say. So please reach out. In this time of COVID uncertainty across Aotearoa I hope you are all staying safe.

Nāku noa

Megan Tapsell

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.