Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


The Iwi Algorithm - creating cultural capital with AI

The ability for Artificial Intelligence to strengthen Aotearoa’s cultural capital will be a challenge set down at AI Day 2019 and will put a spotlight on how technology can support people and society as a whole.

The presentation by Te Aroha Grace, Innovation Officer at Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, will focus on how Artificial Intelligence can combine values of different cultures to grow the mana and brand of Aotearoa and not just focus on commercial gain from advances in technology.

His work with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei involves the creation of an Iwi Algorithm to help all New Zealanders prioritise cultural value resulting from AI and other platforms, as the starting point for all other decisions.

Te Aroha says there is a danger that AI will move down the capitalist path, when it could be used first to generate social, environmental and cultural capital:

“The opportunity we have from AI is to look after people, society and our environment. This is an alternative view, to support indigenous mana to create uniqueness for Aotearoa.

“We could just leave AI to become a commercial and capitalist tool but this would ignore our internationally famous cultural capital in Aotearoa that’s been recognised by world leaders such as Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Microsoft head Satya Nadella.

“Being different won’t come by trying to be the same as everyone else and mimic how other countries are considering AI and its value. In Aotearoa we have the chance to use this technology to look primarily after our people and country, in order to generate other success as a result. Approach this the other way around and we will copy the capitalist mistakes of the past.”

The Iwi algorithm is designed to feed from current generated data to achieve a human or environmental result to ensure the long term sustainability and well-being of New Zealand can be on everyone’s agenda.

His comments come two months before the well-being budget that he calls a western approach to an indigenous concept.

“Take GDP for example, which has always been a great metric but it doesn’t measure dignified GDP - it’s just a hard statistic. The well-being budget is a huge step, but it’s just one step to achieving growth in measurable cultural value,” he says.

Part of our current challenge is a lack of appreciation for what Māori cultural value is:

“In Aotearoa everyone needs more education and understanding about this. Visitors to our country appreciate it, shown by 70% of foreigners visiting a marae, compared to only 17% of New Zealanders.

“We have an opportunity to learn from our past, combine it with the benefits of technology now, to create a better future for our land, to deliver benefits for generations to come. We are on the cusp of an age of truth where information can bring benefits to all, as opposed to information and technology bringing commercial benefits to a few,” he says.

Producer of the conference, Justin Flitter, says the purpose of AI Day 2019 is to consider how the prolific development in artificial intelligence is impacting business, people and society.

“Te Aroha’s presentation will bring a whole new perspective to the debate about artificial intelligence and its specific value to New Zealand. We are at the beginning of the AI age, so balancing the cultural value alongside the commercial one is vital.”

AI Day 2019 will be followed by seven workshops at AUT on 3-4 April, giving attendees the chance to dive deep into demonstrations, case studies and detailed discussion, and a hackfest on 6-7 April where 25 teams will develop and pitch “AI for Earth” concepts.

For a full schedule and tickets to attend AI Day 2019 go to

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


TradeMe: Property Prices In Every Region Hit New High For The Very First Time

Property prices experienced their hottest month on record in December, with record highs in every region, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.\ Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said the property market ended the year with ... More>>

Motor Industry Association: 2020 New Vehicle Registrations Suffer From Covid-19

Chief Executive David Crawford says that like some other sectors of the New Zealand economy, the new vehicle sector suffered from a case of Covid-19. Confirmed figures for December 2020 show registrations of 8,383 were 25% ... More>>

CTU 2021 Work Life Survey: COVID And Bullying Hit Workplaces Hard, Huge Support For Increased Sick Leave

New data from the CTU’s annual work life survey shows a snapshot of working people’s experiences and outlook heading out of 2020 and into the new year. Concerningly 42% of respondents cite workplace bullying as an issue in their workplace - a number ... More>>

Smelter: Tiwai Deal Gives Time For Managed Transition

Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed to working on a managed transition with the local community,” Grant Robertson said. More>>


OECD: Area Employment Rate Rose By 1.9 Percentage Points In The Third Quarter Of 2020

OECD area employment rate rose by 1.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, but remained 2.5 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level The OECD area [1] employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – rose ... More>>

Economy: Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four

SEEK Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December. Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower...More>>

NIWA: 2020 - NZ’s 7th-warmest Year On Record

The nationwide average temperature for 2020, calculated using stations in NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which began in 1909, was 13.24°C (0.63°C above the 1981–2010 annual average). New Zealand’s hottest year on record remains 2016, when... More>>

Quotable Value New Zealand: Property Market Set To Cool From Sizzling To Warm In 2021

Nostradamus himself could not have predicted the strange series of events that befell our world in 2020 – nor the wild trajectory of New Zealand’s property market, which has gone from “doom and gloom” to “boom and Zoom” in record time. Even ... More>>