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Ben Reid

AI in Education features at AI-DAY 2019, plus join our Working Groups


Kia Ora

Only three weeks to go until AI-DAY! Our production team, including Justin Flitter from and the AI Forum’s Chantal Thomas are working behind the scenes to make AI-DAY 2019 an even bigger success than last year’s sell-out event! If you haven’t already secured your place please do this asap to avoid disappointment, tickets are going fast. Remember that AI Forum members can get a 20% discount on AI Forum day tickets. Contact us for the code!

We’re so excited to host speakers and panelists from throughout New Zealand and around the world. We have now extended the programme with an extra session on Wednesday afternoon to accommodate the amazing breadth and depth of presenters. It is going to be two days of learning, being amazed at cutting edge AI-enabled technology, connecting with others and understanding how we as Kiwis can seize the AI opportunity in front of us.

In particular, we’re delighted to announce that Microsoft Strategic Policy Advisor David A. Heiner will be flying in from Seattle to present the opening keynote on Thursday 28 March. Dave will discuss how the global community can focus on building AI systems centred on human values, which earn the trust of people around the world, to realise the full potential of AI. Personally, I can’t wait.

Check out other recent media coverage of AI-DAY, including speaker Brandon Hutcheson from Aware Group discussing AI being trialled to monitor student attendance at two New Zealand tertiary providers and this preview in Idealog magazine. Also make sure to join us after the event to celebrate and network in the ASB Waterfront Theatre atrium with food, drinks and music provided by resident AI-DAY DJ, StevieB.

We have also timed our next AI Forum Working Groups Summit to coincide with AI-DAY. The summit will be be held during the day on 27 March in Auckland and will conclude with lightning talks from each working group in the atrium – just in time for the start of the main AI-DAY event programme. It is the ideal opportunity for AI Forum members to share the work they have been doing during the last year. Connecting our members across industry, Government and academia is one of the AI Forum’s primary purposes – ind out more about the working groups and their outputs here. Special thanks to AI Forum members Clearpoint and IAG for providing meeting facilities during the day. If you have not already joined a working group, I encourage you to sign up and contribute.

Ngā mihi

Ben Reid
Executive Director

Events and News

This month the AI Forum co-hosts AI-DAY on 27 and 28 March, in Auckland. Check out this preview featured in IdealogRegister to attend now! Following the conference there is also a workshop series on 3 and 4 April. Workshop passes are available here.

Attend Automation for Business on 23 May in Auckland. Discussion includes intelligent automation to streamline processes, increase productivity and improve profitability. For an AI Forum 15% discount, please use this promo code: MC8WSK

Attend the #NZAerospaceChallenge 2019 launch on Friday in Christchurch. Join Leveraging Blockchain for your Digital Identity on 14 March in Wellington and 21 March in Auckland.

Attend MobileTECH 2019 on 3-4 April in Rotorua. The annual Great AI debate is 9 May in Auckland. Attend the 2019 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, 10-13 June in Wellington. Registrations open soon.

In local news, the National Business Review recently reported increased CEO pessimism due to AI, data and global growth concerns. FaceMe’s Bradley Scott says its important New Zealand businesses realise that AI isn’t coming next year but it’s here now and we need to focus our talent to make sure we catch the wave. Local startup Ambit has secured support from Sirs David Levene and Stephen Tindall.

In other news, AI Forum’s Ben Reid recently spoke at International Dimensions of Artificial Intelligence in Canberra. A new report by PwC says AI in healthcare is expected to play a significant role in boosting the global economy. Listen to McKinsey’s podcast, The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. Read about Google and DeepMind’s machine learning efforts to help boost the value of wind energy.

Stateside, attend the Augmented Intelligence Conference this month. Governing Machines: Defining and Enforcing Public Policy Values in AI Systems, is 4-5 April at Berkeley Law School. re:MARS 2019 is 4-7 June in Las Vegas and the Machine Learning and AI DevCon, 5-6 June in Santa Clara.

A recent survey in the United Kingdom shows most parents support AI in schools. While many have reservations about how data could be used, most are happy for AI tools to be used in classrooms. Meanwhile, AI could save taxpayers millions of dollars by automating school and university attendance registers.

In Partnership on AI (PAI) news, read Director of Partnerships, Julia Rhodes Davis recent learnings on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency. Applications remain open for the Partnership on AI Fellowship Program. Everything you need to know is here.

Create connections, increase knowledge and support the growth of women in tech. Apply for TechWomen’s 2019 Mentoring Circles programme in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Registrations for mentors and mentees close 15 March.

Be part of Scale-Up New Zealand, a free online platform for New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem. Everything you need to know is here.

Register for the New Zealand Digital Skills Hui on 27 March in Wellington. The hui will focus on driving policy, programmes and investment.

Entries for the 2019 Hi-Tech Awards have now closed. Finalists will be announced on 27 March and winners announced on 24 May in Auckland during Techweek19. Submissions on the Copyright Act Review close 5 April. Techweek19 event submissions close 8 April. Lightning Lab Tourism and the Edmund Hillary Fellowship are now accepting applications.

Curious about Blockchain? It is changing our understanding of transparency, authentication, trust and contracts, in both the public and private sector. BlockchainNZ is the newest member of the Tech Alliance. Stay informed about this emerging tech and subscribe to their newsletter for regular updates.

If you haven’t checked out our new knowledge hub, visit now. We are curating knowledge, data, case studies and learning resources for those with an interest in AI. If you have a content suggestion, please let us know!

Our next AI Forum Working Group Summit is on 27 March in Auckland. If you would like to join a working group, please contact us. Working groups are open to AI Forum members, so if you are unsure of your membership status, please check or join now.

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.