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AI Day 2019 starts today

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand’s premier event on artificial intelligence starts today with a challenging agenda aimed at growing understanding about the technology’s potential, allaying fears about its impact and providing solutions for current issues.

AI Day 2019 opens at 4.00pm at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland, with a pōwhiri and a day/night programme looking at advances in conversational AI, digital assistants and natural language processing, supported by both New Zealand and international case studies.

It continues tomorrow with a full day covering subjects from data, privacy and trust, through to the use of AI in education, health, government services, augmented reality, telecommunications and real estate, and ends with an international panel about creating safer societies.

Presented by the AI Forum NZ and NewZealand.AI, over 500 delegates, and 30 leading industry experts from New Zealand, China, the US and around the world will discuss how this technology is impacting business, people and society.

Producer of AI-Day Justin Flitter says since AI Day was announced in February events have led to updates in the programme so as to address important current questions:

"In the shell-shocked aftermath of the Christchurch tragedy we decided to adapt our programme to give people the chance to ask searching questions about how technology can be part of the solution to developing a safer society.

"We expected this question to come up throughout the event so to bring focus we’ve created a panel of leading experts to discuss whether or not technology can deliver better public safety," he says.

The opening keynote on the 28th March will be from Dave Heiner, Strategic Policy Advisor at Microsoft, who will talk about the importance of creating an ethical framework to ensure people’s privacy and the reliability, safety and fairness of AI systems, while highlighting the importance of transparency and trust.

Other headline speakers include physicist, TED fellow and entrepreneur Sean Gourley, a US based Kiwi and founder of machine intelligence company Primer, who will discuss AI and fake versus real news, algorithm manipulation and the challenge this places on democracy.

Brandon Hutcheson co-founder of leading Kiwi AI firm Aware Group will present on the economic value of automating attendance records at school and university, and AUT’s Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh who will pose the question, will robots replace teachers?

Ben Reid, Executive Director of the AI Forum of New Zealand, says this year’s event will demonstrate how AI is becoming an increasingly important part of life and presents promise for the future.

"There’s been a huge increase in momentum in the last year and while we can celebrate success, we are still only at the beginning of the AI Age.

"The sector is growing rapidly shown by the 500% growth in AI Forum membership over the last year - organisations are actively engaging with the technology, researching, raising capital, investing and developing new products or applications.

"However, while there are many examples of AI being used we have a long way to go to help people understand its significance and how to maximise value from it, as opposed to being apprehensive about its impact.

"We want people to come and learn, take part in the debate and leave with a greater understanding of how AI can be managed to create value."

AI Day Conference Partners include trail blazing local pioneers, FaceMe and Aware Group, Kiwi tech innovators including Spark and Jade, and large international leaders such as Microsoft and IBM. The two day conference is at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, 138 Halsey Street, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland and runs through to the finale networking event at 5.30pm on the 28th

The conference will be followed by eight workshops at AUT on 3rd and 4th April, giving attendees the chance to dive deep into demonstrations, case studies and detailed discussion, and a hackfest on 6-7th April where 25 teams will develop and pitch "AI for Earth" concepts.

Final tickets for AI-Day, conference and workshops are on still on sale at

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