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AI Forum

Highlights from the Aotearoa AI summit

Tēnā tātou katoa,

Atamai Iahiko Atamai Tuatahi

Our 5th annual Summit was full of intelligent, provocative and essential discussions, and our Chair Megan Tapsell launched our new logo thanks to brand agency Supermoon! Here’s a whistle stop tour of the day, with thanks to all of our members, sponsors and the teams at NZTech and Brightstar for a fantastic event!

We had two other big AI announcements – three if you count FranklyAI becoming freely available as part of Microsoft’s standard Office 365 offering globally!

Craig Jones announced the establishment of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation and Michael Webster the Privacy Commissioner released their latest advice on the use of AI.

The event was top and tailed by NASA, with Chris Mattman (CIO at JPL) talking about very relatable business problems being solved by AI technologies, even if his team is solving problems for space exploration, and we finished with our EC member Glen Willoughby talking about how that technology is then used back here on Earth for the betterment of all people.

Tim Bradley (AWS) confirmed that the Robocalypse predicted 10 years ago has not happened, and that if we had named this technology Augmented Intelligence rather than Artificial Intelligence we might have less fear out there.

Our panel discussion on AI as the next engine of economic growth in New Zealand, led by our EC member from Microsoft Maciej Surowiec. Dr Ganesh Nana, Chair of the Productivity Commission reminded us that productivity gains are not about improving GDP, they are about improving our standard of living and quality of life.

Sophie (thanks to Uneeq and ElementX) joined Matt Ensor, Chair of our Large Language Models Working Group, Dr Mahsa McCauley from AUT and KL Chan from Callaghan Innovation for an unscripted panel discussion.

Our Chair Megan Tapsell, alongside Karaitiana Taiuru, Moka Apiti and Elle Archer, brought matauranga Māori and building positive relationships and outcomes with Māori communities to life. It was a good lesson in how to build  trust with all New Zealanders, by starting with a cup of tea.

Hackathon finalists pitched their solutions with the audience voting Deepweed from Wellington voted the overall winners of the TAIAO Award.

We welcomed Urs Hölzle from Google Cloud talking about how he develops new products in a world of constant innovation: If he takes the development to 75% of completion and then gives it to us for the  remaining 25%, it becomes ‘our’ product not ‘his’ product.

Frances Valentine from academyEX gave us a sobering reminder of some of the concerns we should be addressing now, before Glen Willoughby rounded an exciting day off on a positive note about the potential for AI in healthcare.

Innovate Napier

We ended September participating in the Innovate Napier series, and I can confirm that the temperature is rising and the sun is starting to peek out! Happy School holidays!

AI Forum NZ Executive Council – nominations now open!

There is now an opportunity to put yourself forward or nominate someone else for a role on the AIFNZ Executive Council. This year we have vacancies for the following positions:

  • Corporate – Major (four positions)
  • Corporate – Other (one position)
  • SMEs & Start-ups (one position)
  • Education (one position)

The nominees must be from an AIFNZ member organisation and from the same category they are to represent on the Executive Council.

All nominations must be entered into the online form here by 5pm, Wednesday 11 October 2023.

For more information, click here.

Ngā mihi mahana

Read the full news here: Highlights from the Aotearoa AI summit

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.