NZ aspiring to be southern hemisphere’s AI capital

Photography by: Stu Christie

New Zealand Artificial Intelligence (AI) Forum initiated by NZTech will be launched in Wellington on June 7

Dozens of New Zealand’s leading tech companies are joining the forum attended by politicians, government agencies, big tech companies, and major national tech groups.

NZTech, InternetNZ, IT professionals, and many other umbrella tech groups confirm determination to position as the leading country in AI, after their landmark tech manifesto presented to parliamentarian last week, AI Forum chair, Stu Christie, says.

NZ-aspiring -to -be -southern -hemisphere

Stu says the support of the government in the launch of this forum and for ongoing work is pivotal to New Zealand tech really taking off. He appeals to all businesses and organisations to touch base with them to make the most of the one-off opportunity. 

"We are seeing so much AI appearing and changing our lives, we are committed to this coordinated approach. We’ll see big changes in our every day activities this year and the next few years that many people cannot comprehend," Stu says. 

Stu can already see changes in the end of rush hour queues with AI traffic lights and the transformation of the way people shop using AI.

AI plans overseas are already underway, with Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) planning for patients to be assessed by robots under a controversial 111 scheme, using artificial intelligent to ease pressures on accident and emergency units.

Millions of people in these hospitals will be given access to a free app allowing them to consult with a chatbox instead of a real person. This will help Britain to cope with the struggling unprecedented demand that leaves thousands of casualty patients unattended.

Britain’s banks are changing, too, with The Bank of England pairing with AI and blockchain specialists in a bid to keep up to date in the fast-growing financial technology sector.

Artificial Intelligence in New Zealand

In New Zealand, companies such as Soul Machine, Xero, Talania, Touchtechlabs, Orion Health, and Air New Zealand are leading the way, Stu says.

"The speedy birth of AI in New Zealand is happening right across the country. To see artificial intelligence unfold in Canterbury, for example, they have a meet up site to discuss developments. It’s great," he says. 

New Zealand is gathering momentum in activity and capability on all fronts as the country begins to apply AI and technology exports with machine learning. 

Stu says the future impacts of the economy and of society are looking significant, dramatic, and disruptive. 

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