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Commentary on the AI Forum’s latest report

The AI Forum NZ’s latest report, AI: shaping a future New Zealand, was launched yesterday across the country and media outlets nationwide.

FaceMe, a member of AI Forum NZ, is playing a pivotal role in shaping NZ’s AI strategy globally. It’s Head of Product, Victor Yuen, last week participated in the first working group session in New York for the “AI, Labour and the Economy” pillar of Partnership on AI. He weighs in on the AI Forum NZ’s report / IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS:

A NEED TO DIG DEEPER ON THE IMPACT OF AI TO LABOUR: “The report makes some very good points that are in opposition to much of the fear-based sensationalism out there. Critical, however, will be unpacking the assumptions made around the displacement of the workforce. There are two big considerations. First - AI can not only replace your physical abilities but also your cognitive facilities. Secondly, technology disruption is much faster than it used to be in the 1900s. As an example, Uber was founded in 2009 and has taken less than nine years to completely upset an industry. Self driving trucks represent a step change in logistics and newcomer startups could rapidly make business models of incumbents unsustainable. Regardless of the speed at which this disruption will take place, it is imperative that we encourage open, collaborative discussion across industry, academia and Government, to understand who will be disrupted and how we can help them make meaningful contributions to society. I also foresee structural unemployment where jobs are disrupted in one discipline such as truck driving and then created in machine learning, for instance. FaceMe as an AI company is taking this responsibility seriously through investment in AI partnerships as well as implementing key ethical principles into our products and processes.”

LOOK BEYOND NATIONAL BORDERS: “Many countries are investing in AI and we often see ourselves in competition with each other. This attitude could be dangerous as we could create an AI arms race. We need to have open and collaborative conversations globally and not just invest in our own country’s future – but how AI can be used to further humanity as a whole. Organisations and collectives of people now operate trans border, we as a nation should embrace this too."

NZ CAN LEVERAGE ITS UNIQUE ATTRIBUTES: “Any AI investment needs to focus on producing meaningful outcomes. Investing in AI for the sake of AI, is a “me too” conversation and that investment would be better spent elsewhere. We have the opportunity to take a global design thinking view on both potential risks and problems created by AI and also what world problems can be solved. As a nimble and progressive country, we have the opportunity to take the lead by experimenting, executing and ensuring the learnings can be applied by other nations and communities."

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