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New NZ Industry Policy Announced | AI Forum NZ July Panel Discussion Events

Kia ora readers,

Later this month, the AI Forum is hosting two panel discussion events on 24 July in Wellington and 30 July in Auckland. Wellington panelists include Xero’s Christopher Laing and AI Advisory’s Emma Naji. In Auckland, IAG’s Ratneesh Suri and Air New Zealand’s Paulo Gottgtroy are joined by the newly appointed Professor Michael Witbrock from the University of Auckland. Each panel discussion will focus on how to increase AI adoption in New Zealand – what’s working well and what’s potentially holding back New Zealand organisations.

At these events we will also preview the AI Forum’s forthcoming research reports, Towards Our Intelligent Future – Part 1: AI Adoption in Aotearoa and Part 2: AI Policy in Aotearoa. These substantial reports are the result of our 2019 research programme and will be launched in August. Towards Our Intelligent Future includes plenty of  local case studies of AI in its many shapes and forms. 

Discussions about AI adoption are timely after last week’s announcement of Government’s new Industry Policy. The new policy is aimed at growing more innovative industries in New Zealand and lifting productivity of key sectors, in particular agritech, digital tech, forestry and food. So far, AI features throughout the information released, however implementation and funding details are currently light. It will be good to see continued momentum in the coming months.

This month, we have added two new features to the AI Forum’s website:

  • We are often approached with speaker requests for events on AI throughout New Zealand. Now, as a member service, we offer you the opportunity to be included in the New Zealand AI Speaker list.
  • We continue to contribute on relevant Government policy and regulatory issues relating to artificial intelligence and now share our submissions to Government consultations online.

Meanwhile, in recent international AI news:

  • In the USA, MIT has just announced a US$1 Billion plan to create a new college that combines AI, machine learning, and data science with other academic disciplines.  Read more
  • Here’s another example of how feature extraction using machine vision AI enables completely new business models: How to make millions counting cars in parking lots from space.
  • Mark your diaries for next year’s AI For Good Summit, 4-8 May in Geneva.

Finally, not specifically related to AI and data science, but potentially informed by it, here’s an innovative approach from Wales, which has appointed the world’s first Commissioner for Future Generations. This is  a new role designed to improve intergenerational equity and ensure that policy decisions made today, don’t compromise the citizens of tomorrow. 

Ngā mihi nui

Ben Reid
Executive Director


Congratulations to YouDo for their selection as Cyber Gold finalists in the 2019 Wellington Gold Awards. Check out some of their data science, analytics and FinTech case studies here.

In the Government’s recent Wellbeing Budget, it was announced that New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) will commit a further $60M to invest in expansion-stage New Zealand businesses, alongside $240M to be invested by NZ Super Fund. Listen to CEO Richard Dellabarca discussing New Zealand’s imperative to invest in growing business on RNZ this week.


Did you know that more than 80 percent of the ocean floor is unexplored? The BBC reports on an uncrewed robo-boat that could help further research.

When AI and IoT converge you have AIoT. AIoT is set to be as powerful as when mobile phones converged with the internet in the late 1990s.  Learn more about this new tech capability, its value and power to disrupt.

Register your interest to attend the 2019 NZ Cyber Security Summit on 16 October in Wellington. The summit will explore the changing landscape, including privacy and emerging tech. 

Join Digital Identity NZ and FinTechNZ on 11 July in Wellingtonand 18 July in Auckland for a  discussion on how digital identity can provide more transparency in finance.

Save the date for the annual Indo-Pacific Dialogue: Beyond 2020  on 15 August in Auckland.  Collaborate on critical areas of trade and investment

Be among the first to meet founders who are fuelling our startup ecosystem. Attend Massey’s ecentre Innovation Showcase 2019 on 8 August in Auckland.

Attend Singapore’s Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH), 11-15 November. If you are interested in participating, please email NZTE for more information.

Applications for the Callaghan Innovation R&D Experience Grantsclose 31 August. Callaghan is also requesting proposals for  incubators with deep tech commercialisation experience. The proposal deadline is 4 October.

The New Zealand Esri User Conference is 12-14 August in Auckland. The 2019 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards is 23 August in Auckland. Join the Festival for the Future, 26-28 August in Wellington. 

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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.