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AI Day 2019 to present major advances in sector

Identifying fake news, robots replacing teachers and advancing cancer detection and treatment are just three topics on the agenda at this year’s AI Day, New Zealand’s premier AI event on March 27-28th at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland.

Presented by the AI Forum NZ and NewZealand.AI, AI Day will have over 20 leading industry experts, international speakers and panelists from New Zealand, Australia, China and the US, discussing how the technology is impacting business, people and society.

Headline speakers include physicist, TED fellow and entrepreneur Sean Gourley, a US based Kiwi and founder of machine intelligence company Primer, who will discuss AI and fake versus real news, algorithm manipulation and the challenge this places on democracy.

Others include Brandon Hutcheson co-founder of leading Kiwi AI firm Aware Group who will present on the economic value of automating attendance records at school and university, and AUT’s Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh who will pose the question, will robots replace teachers?
Advances in AI and the management of cancer will be the topic of leading CIO, Glen Willoughby, who is also Senior Research fellow at Victoria University focusing on AI and emerging technologies in health.
Ben Reid, Executive Director of the AI Forum of New Zealand, says this year’s event will demonstrate how AI is everywhere and is already part of life in New Zealand while also showing what the future holds.

“There’s been a huge increase in momentum in the last year and while we can celebrate success, AI Day aims to inspire Kiwi innovators and leaders to understand we are only at the beginning of this technology curve and we can achieve so much more.

“The sector is growing rapidly shown by the 500% growth in AI Forum membership over the last year – organisations are actively engaging with the technology, researching, raising capital, investing and developing new products or applications.

“There will be many case studies about how AI is being used, mixed with discussion about the significant challenges it presents. We want people to come and learn, take part in the debate and leave with a greater understanding of how AI can be managed to create value.”

AI Day Conference Partners include trail blazing local pioneers, FaceMe and Aware Group, Kiwi tech innovators including Spark and Jade, and large international leaders such as Microsoft and IBM. The two day conference at the 600-seat ASB Waterfront Theatre starts at 6.00pm on 27th March and runs through to the finale networking party at 5.30pm on the 28th.

Some big topics to be presented, discussed in panels and debated with the audience, include:

• The importance of protecting data and privacy in a rapidly developing AI world
• The growth of AI superpowers, the US, China and Europe, and how will this affect New Zealand?
• Lifelong learning, constant upskilling and running to keep up with AI-driven job changes
• The future of conversational interfaces and using AI to deliver authentic augmented reality experiences – when will chatbots resemble real people?
• How can AI be used to radically improve government services?
• How can AI help you buy a house?

The conference will be followed by six workshops at AUT on 3rd and 4th April, giving attendees the chance to dive deep into demonstrations, case studies and detailed discussion, and a hackfest on 6-7th April where 25 teams will develop and pitch “AI for Earth” concepts.

Producer of AI Day Justin Flitter says the event is an opportunity to take one more step towards understanding and adopting a fundamental technology for our future:

“We are no longer staring into the headlights of this tech but embracing it and using it to bring new ways of working, efficiencies in business and government, and improvements to people’s lives.

“But like all disruptive changes there are issues to debate and we are encouraging anyone with an interest in how we will advance as a country to come along and be part of an important discussion.

“New Zealand’s mainstream AI conversation only really began in 2017, and we now have real traction and momentum. But we need to continue to build as many countries are moving faster than us and we can’t afford to be left behind.”

Tickets for AI-Day are on sale at

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