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Government will move quickly on AI action plan

Hon Clare Curran
Minister for Government Digital Services
Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media

2 May 2018 MEDIA STATEMENT
Embargoed until 6pm Wednesday 2 May 2018

Government will move quickly on AI action plan

The Minister for Government Digital Services and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Clare Curran, says an action plan and ethical framework is urgently needed to educate and upskill people on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

Ms Curran today launched the Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand report which outlines the opportunities and challenges for New Zealand in adopting AI.

“An ethical framework will give people the tools to participate in conversations about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications in our society and economy,” Clare Curran said.

“As a first step and because of the importance of ethics and governance issues around AI, I will be formalising the government’s relationship with Otago University’s NZ Law Foundation Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies.

“There are economic opportunities but also some pressing risks and ethical challenges with AI and New Zealand is lagging behind comparable countries in its work in these areas.

“With many other countries already focussing on the strategic development of AI, New Zealand must be at the forefront of AI adoption as we strive to compete in the global marketplace.

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The report, commissioned by the AI Forum of New Zealand, provides the first current-state snapshot of New Zealand’s AI landscape, touching on the emerging uses of AI.

“This report shows that New Zealand has small but flourishing AI sector, with innovative systems rapidly evolving at all levels,” says Ms Curran.

“We must prepare for the ethical challenges AI poses to our legal and political systems, as well as the impact AI will have on workforce planning, the wider issues of digital rights, data bias, transparency and accountability are also important for this Government to consider.

“This report creates an opportunity for business, government, academia and all Kiwis to join the AI conversation. Coming together to develop the right support and frameworks to grow our AI expertise will be critical to shaping our future.

“I look forward to these conversations and their contribution to a strategic approach to AI implementation in New Zealand.”

To read the Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand report, visit https://aiforum.org.nz


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