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Ben Reid

New Zealand to be at the forefront of AI


Auckland University’s Michelle Dickinson and Soul Machines business chief Greg Cross are among top key speakers at the biggest artificial intelligence (AI) event ever to be held in New Zealand next year.

New Zealand’s trail-blazing AI event will be held in Auckland on March 28 and will showcase the amazing strides AI has made and is making across the country, New Zealand AI Forum executive director Ben Reid says.

“AI is pervading across many walks of Kiwi life and this conference is the place to hear all about the latest in AI. Some New Zealand companies are providing cutting-edge world-first products.

“We’re seeing incredible AI developments on a weekly basis and they are growing. Look at how cool Netsafe has developed the AI tool Re:scam, to stop $12 billion lost globally to phishing scams every year. The recent creation of an AI weapon against scammers is the latest example of New Zealand’s innovative culture at play.

“AI Forum founding member Chapman Tripp has launched a new AI service for legal due diligence. And then there’s Soul Machine’s Rachel, a digital human avatar who has been created by two-time Oscar winner Mark Sagar, now working for Soul Machines.

“New Zealand’s largest companies – including ANZ, Orion Health and Air New Zealand – are rapidly taking to AI, developing innovative new products and solutions using artificial intelligence to create new approaches to old problems. All the major players in AI around New Zealand will be at the March 28 AI Day conference.”

The conference is being organised by NewZealand.AI and the NZ AI Forum, which is part of the NZTech Alliance, bringing together 14 tech communities, over 500 organisations and more than 100,000 employees to help create a more prosperous New Zealand underpinned by technology.

Reid says New Zealand is seeing so much AI appearing and changing lives and every day activities at a rate that many people cannot comprehend.

“We’ll see traffic lights fitted with artificial intelligence which could spell the end of rush hour queues in our cities. The link between fashion retail and technology is growing with the rampant rise of online shopping and the use of AI technology, which is transforming the way people shop.

“In Britain, national health service (NHS) patients will be assessed by robots under a controversial 111 scheme to use artificial intelligence to ease pressures on accident and emergency units.

“More than one million people will be given access to a free app which means they can consult with a chatbot instead of a real person.

“The speedy birth of AI in New Zealand is happening right across the country. Activity and capability in New Zealand is really gathering momentum on all fronts as the country begins to apply AI and machine learning to technology exports.”

He says the future impacts on the economy and society will be significant, dramatic and disruptive.

For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

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Ben Reid I head up the AI Forum of New Zealand - working to harness the power of AI to help bring about a prosperous and inclusive future for New Zealand and the world. The AI Forum NZ brings together technology firms, businesses, universities and the government to connect, promote and advance the national AI ecosystem.