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NZTech Update – 100 days, AI and machine learning tech

Hi Readers

Over recent months, I have undertaken a challenge with my friends to run every day for 100 days. Today, as we head into our final week, I knocked off run number 93 with ease. This experience reminds me that it is easier to break a big challenge into smaller bits, and do it together.

This is exactly how we are approaching artificial intelligence in New Zealand. Taking a massive concept and breaking it into smaller manageable focus areas. Working together with technology leaders, the government, leading academics and business people from across New Zealand to create the AI Forum, a neutral ‘centre of gravity’ for all public discussion and debate, research and policy creation around this world altering technology. The government and industry working together to ensure New Zealand is ready.

However, the question I ask every day is, “are we doing enough?” Over Easter, I read that Canada’s government and private sector have collaborated to launch the Vector Institute to accelerate research and commercialisation of AI and machine learning technologies. The Canadian government is investing $150 million which is being matched by 31 corporates. Let’s hope that when the AI Forum of New Zealand launches it too will have similar levels of national support to ensure New Zealand is ready.

This week, I will be in Auckland for the FinTech Connect event and then in Wellington for more work with the Digital Skills Forum. Don’t you just love these 4 day weeks?

Have a great week






FinTechNZ is hosting a Connect event in Auckland on 18 April. The Wellington Blockchain Meetup is 19 April and Canterbury Tech next meets on 9 May.

Join us in Christchurch for the NZTech Women Executive Lunch on 3 May. The Women in Tech Leadership Breakfast is in Wellington on 10 May.

Learn more about geospatial tech and its application to business problems at SIBA’s Talk Geospatial in Auckland on May 8, Wellington 10 May and Christchurch 11 May.


Check out Farming 2020: The Event, showcasing agriculture’s digital future, 9-11 May in Ohaupo. This #twnz17 event showcases our leading AgTech businesses operating within a digitally connected working farm environment.

For “the least boring tech conference you could possibly attend”, Future Realities, 10-13 May in Auckland and Wellington. Hear from futurist Neal Stephenson and leaders in the fields of mixed reality and IoT.

KEA are holding a panel discussion, KEA Inspire: The Future of Cities, in Wellington on 11 May, exploring ways New Zealand can attract the world’s best talent and encourage innovators, creators and investors to live and work here.


Early bird registrations are now open for our EdTech Summit in June. View the agenda, set to inspire and empower educators, tech leaders, innovators and policy makers.

Techweek coincides with the 2017 NZ Hi-Tech Awards, and this year’s finalists includes innovative and world-leading local grown companies. Tickets to the Gala Dinner on 12 May will sell out!

As global discussion on diversity and inclusion continues to increase, so does interest in our ongoing program of work. ICYMI, read Eva Sherwood’s update on NZTech Women.

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