AI-Day 2018: Here are 5 key takeaways & why NZ could lead world in Artificial Intelligence


While the rest of the world is yet to decide whether to use Artificial Intelligence, some governments even fearing massive job losses, New Zealand is taking a leap in pre-empting to solve issues that AI and machine learning systems can pose to mankind.

From chatbots that can fight and irritate online scammers to AI that can solve critical issues such as pollution, to machines being used for parenting, A-I will be used in different gamuts of life in coming years.

Here are five key takeaways from #AIDay2018 held in Auckland on March 28th:

1. Too early for laws & regulations:

As Tesla founder Elon Musk said in one of his talks – that governments should step in to regulate the use of AI, key speakers said that it’s too early to regulate as machines are yet to learn how humans operate most systems.

While there are no laws, in any part of the world that govern use of Artificial Intelligence, New Zealand definitely has an advantage as all living beings be it animals or plants have rights in the country, being recognized as sentient beings. If a machine takes a decision that’s against them, humans can fight in courts against decisions taken by a machine. It’s another case that – there are no laws that can penalise a machine.

2. AI will be used to solve key problems:

From pollution and traffic management to immigration and passport control to solving crimes, AI will be heavily used in the future.

However, speakers said that humans should take their own decisions in critical cases and use the output by a machine, as just one of the deciding factor.

One of the speakers gave an example of a bay view outside Wellington Airport that she loves to enjoy. However, an Uber map will never show a passenger that route.

3. Machines can’t be punished:

From the case of a Uber driver who blamed a faulty algorithm for driving down stairs in San Francisco, the app won’t be punished by the human behind the wheels.

While laws are yet to be framed, a faulty decision by a machine is likely to lead to culpability of a human behind the system.

4. AI can help us save the environment:

From using artificial mating calls to predators, to eliminate them in an area, to machine learning that could teach kids how to learn, the potential is enormous, especially when we connect human networks to AI neural networks.

The wave of sci-fi is just on the horizon when a machine would be just as conscious if not more than a human being. However, capturing and feeling emotions for a machine could be taught with learning unlike in human being who can feel pain.

5. Mobility will have the first AI advantage:

Companies such as Ohmio Automation will launch the first self drive shuttles this year in Christchurch.

While Uber and Google are already experimenting with self driven cars.

Pods and shuttles are likely to be the first beneficiaries of AI and machine learning where cars would self learn about various routes and human behaviour as they go on test pilots.

Key companies to watch out in AI & Machine Learning: Uber, Tesla, Google, Amazon, IBM.  

Key NZ Companies & Forums to watch-out for in #AI: Ohmio Automation, Soul Machines, NetSafe, Cacophony Project, Jade Software, Westpac, University of Auckland, AUT, Centrality.AI, Orbica.  


Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more….

Reach out: | Twitter: @startup_anz