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AI Forum

AI could be NZ’s electronic version of number 8 wire

AI could be New Zealand’s electronic version of number 8 wire where special digital tools can be developed using AI to solve economic and social challenges, AI experts say.

The issue will be a key topic at the Aotearoa AI summit in Auckland on May 12.

Emma Naji, executive director of the AI Forum NZ, says significant work is being done in the field of AI and health, which is so important during the global health crisis.

“Keynote speaker Jennifer Marsman, Microsoft’s cognitive search principal engineer, will talk about her ground-breaking work with colleague Liam Cavanagh to help medical professionals and laypeople get the most up to date, correct medical information about covid.

“Their machine learning-powered search brings together an enormous amount of global medical research, including thousands of academic papers and published data and allows users to navigate through the data swamp using AI-powered enrichments to find the most useful information.

“From covid’s impact on kidneys to various symptoms, the effectiveness of certain medications or influence of genetics, hospitals are using Jennifer’s machine learning-powered database to make decisions that save lives in an extremely fast-changing environment when our understanding of the virus is changing by the day.”

Marsman says Microsoft recognises they have the tools, the intelligence and the resources to make a difference.

“So, when we get the chance, why wouldn’t we? As a software developer I’m not going to be making any medical innovations, so I was determined to find a way to help medical professions make their innovations faster,” Marsman says.

Microsoft NZ’s national tech officer Russell Craig says AI can play a powerful role in helping us address sustainability challenges.

“With this in mind, as part of a global sustainability hackathon, a team at Microsoft NZ has developed an AI-enabled solution to estimate how much rainwater could be harvested from Auckland rooftops.”

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says AI could be NZ’s electronic version of number 8 wire which will enable New Zealand to achieve a premium position in the global  health areas.

AI technologies are beginning to have a major impact on New Zealand’s economy and society, Muller says.

“Reports show that changes brought by AI will be as significant as the ongoing changes that have brought computers and internet into all aspects of business, government and everyday life over the last 30 years.”

“The AI Forum has released a report that called for a national AI strategy, that would be nice, however technology is moving so fast we just need to get on with it.

“We need to consider AI in all sectors including health, education, agriculture and banking. AI will be useful in almost every way of life in New Zealand.

“AI is fast emerging as a key technology to solve many business and social problems. More than half of New Zealand businesses and organisations think AI will be, or is already, a game changer and will enable transformation of business and society. Underpinning all of this is the ever-increasing importance of data.”

Global spending on smart, connected agricultural technologies and systems, including AI and machine learning, is projected to triple in revenue by 2025, reaching $US15.3 billion, according to BI Intelligence Research.

For further information contact Graeme Muller on 021 02520767, Emma Naji on 021 1460662  or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

AI Forum The AI Forum brings together New Zealand’s artificial intelligence community, working together to harness the power of AI technologies to enable a prosperous, inclusive and thriving future New Zealand.