WG3 – Assisting AI Adoption

Helping New Zealand organisations get started with AI

This working group aims to create a central point of knowledge for creating ‘how to’ guides and investment case templates for AI adoption across sectors. Deliverables will consider business and technology objectives, but also guide in the areas of law, policy and understanding societal impacts.

Mission and goals:

AI technologies have already reached a tipping point of maturity and readiness for adoption across a broad range of applications. This working group seeks to help accelerate AI adoption for New Zealand by developing a central pool of knowledge and resources. The resources would potentially include ‘how to’ guides, case studies, recommendations on senior leadership education programmes, pilots and thought-leadership content on AI across large enterprises as well as SME sectors. Deliverables will consider business and technology objectives to help lower the barriers to approaching AI technologies and encourage curiosity & innovation.

AI adoption is also dependant upon the AI talent being developed and promoted into the economy as well as on industry openness to ingesting and grooming new talent. Our focus areas would therefore be extended to cover relevant engagement with secondary schools and tertiary institutes, and to assist businesses with the uptake of young talent.

How are we doing it:

  • Leveraging Deep Domain Knowledge

By ensuring that the working group membership covers experts from a variety of industry sectors with members contributing their extensive knowledge and thought-leadership for developing resources and content. The goal is to identify roadblocks and develop best-practice frameworks for helping remove those roadblocks.

  • Research & Development

By researching existing papers and articles on use-cases from around the world and curating quality case-studies for target audience consumption. The aim is to make it easy for the stakeholders to identify opportunities, move at pace and deliver strong ROI. Some of these initiatives may explore researching and promoting low-cost access to technical AI development and runtime platforms, providing the possibility for “AI Learning by Doing” for smaller players.

  • Education Institute Engagement

By engaging with secondary schools and assisting them with the development of curriculum to generate interest in STEM and particularly AI among the youth of New Zealand. There is potential to support universities with the placement of interns and graduates into businesses, and to help businesses with the development of their junior AI recruitment programs.

Working group members

Ratneesh Suri – Working Group Lead

Ratneesh is an experienced data & analytics leader with expertise spanning across building and leading high performing teams delivering across the entire spectrum of analytics maturity curve – from automated descriptive & diagnostic insights through to predictive & prescriptive models including machine learning and AI. Her current focus is on developing approaches to facilitate positive organisational change and achieving innovation through experimentation with emerging technologies & data science. Ratneesh believes in giving back to the community by supporting data-driven community initiatives, by encouraging women in STEM & leadership and via mentoring and fostering talent growth.

Jannat Maqbool

Jannat Maqbool is an accomplished academic, CPA and former CIO, completing a Masters of Digital Business at Waikato University and actively engaged in the NZ technology sector. Jannat has a focus on leveraging technology in innovative ways to benefit individuals, organisations and communities and is the Operations Manager at CultivateIT, a digital sector body working to connect the technology ecosystem in Waikato, that has partnered with Te Waka – Waikato’s economic development agency to coordinate a programme of work focused on regional digital enablement. Jannat is also the Smart Cities Advisor for Hamilton City Council, a Lecturer in the Centre for Business and Enterprise at Wintec, and is involved with various other technology initiatives promoting and building capacity in the areas of digital, IoT, Fintech, AI and Agritech.

Hari Kumar

Hari is an experienced Operations and Customer Service advocate in the field of Travel Technology. Being the regional head for Amadeus and Travelport, led a team of professionals in deployment of innovative travel products and managing service deliveries. Hari was one of the key architects in transformation of cryptic front office products to click and now touch based booking platforms. He has been a customer advocate for airlines and multinational travel agents across Middle East, Africa, India and parts of Asia and had the entrepreneurial experience of delivering multi sourced travel technology platform to the industry. Being a Rotarian, Hari is always interested to serve the community. Transferring knowledge and experience is what he loves to do.

Robert Wydler

Robert’s particular interests include Artificial Neural Networks (IT Deep Learning), Machine Learning, Semantic Web Technologies (Linked Data, Description Logic), IT integration and AI development. For more than 30 years, he has been expanding his IT knowledge and worked on numerous IT projects in the areas of IT architecture/design, IT integration and software development. In addition, he lectured in Computer and Information Sciences at two universities of applied sciences and evaluated the progress of tertiary students.

Amit Saran

Amit Saran is an experienced management consultant with 7+ years of consulting experience across top tier global consulting firms. Over the course, Amit has developed expertise in the areas of strategy development & execution, operational optimisation, cost reduction and digital adoption. During his consulting tenure, Amit has worked across variety of sectors including Telecom, Technology, Industrial goods and Government.