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NZTech Update – Al, global impact and cybersecurity skills shortage

Hi Readers

Recently, I attended the IBM World of Watson Conference in Las Vegas. I was there to assess advances in cognitive computing (AI) and determine how we can better integrate such modernized technology into the New Zealand ecosystem. What struck me most revolved around the use of cognitive computing to distil useful information from big data. This type of data-to-outcome crunching means we can make huge improvements to not only retail, logistics and supply chain management, but also city services, social welfare and security. We now have the tools to better adapt our products, services and support to fit the exact the needs of each market, as the market needs it. Unfortunately, the adoption of cognitive computing is slow-going, but it doesn’t have to be in a place like New Zealand.

Which brings me to re-framing the pre-conceived idea of cognitive computing. Imagine a world in which a smarter, more connected, and less language-afflicted derivation of Google or Siri could be at your disposal 24/7? Imagine a world where a doctor could diagnose an extremely rare disease within minutes, work more interconnectedly to begin treatment and have that person brought back to health faster and cheaper? What if we re-framed cognitive computing around an interconnected, knowledgeable partner that allowed us to achieve greater impact in our lives and the lives of others? That is the type of country we should look forward to living in; where the positive work we strive to do, has greater global impact while preserving the very New Zealand lifestyle we know and love.

Working to create a stronger New Zealand.

Rachel Kelly
NZTech Deputy Chair
Managing Director, SparkTank

Government Summit – Feb 17

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Join NZTech at the India Trade Alliance end of year cocktail event in Auckland on 12 December.

Meet kiwi technology visionary, Ian Taylor at the NZSA’s networking dinner in Auckland on 13 December.

NZTech’s Christmas drinks tonight in Wellington joins TUANZ’s launch of FLINT. In Auckland, NZTech Christmas drinks are 13 December.


R9 Accelerator has confirmed the R9 Rev Up for 28-29 January in Wellington. Registrations have re-opened, so it’s not too late to enter.

In Auckland this week, hear about Smarter Compliance in the era of Blockchain. In 2017, the APAC Block Chain Conference will be held in Sydney, 7-9 March.

Google, an NZTech member, says an increasing number of local businesses are using tech to grow exports and market offshore. Check out their Official Guide on how to use AdWords for an easy way to expand your reach.


Following the recent NZTech Advance Security Summit in Wellington, read our report on addressing a critical cybersecurity skills shortage and our recommendations.

Applications open today for the 2017 NZ Hi-Tech Awards. Entries close 6 March. Winners announced at the Hi-Tech Awards Gala Dinner in May during Techweek’17.

Early bird registrations for the NZTech Advance Government and Technology Summit close 16 December. The 2017 summit theme is Technology to Transform; data, citizen and cloud.

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