NZ AI Forum sets out AI policy framework


The AI Forum is promoting its latest research report, “Towards our Intelligent Future” released earlier this month, saying it provides a policy framework for artificial intelligence and highlights the significant potential for AI to address well-being, sustainability and economic issues.

The forum says the report emphasises the urgency of a national approach by showing many of New Zealand’s peer nations investing significantly in research and development, AI start-ups and growing talent.

According to the forum, the framework set out in the document follows OECD recommendations of five key steps for nations to take to maximise benefits from artificial intelligence, beyond commercial aims and objectives, and gives business, organisations and government tools that enable them to act now, and create AI driven solutions to key issues and challenges.

It lists the five steps as: encouraging private and public investment, having a safe environment for data sharing, enabling trustworthy AI systems, empowering people, and cooperation.

The research was supported by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Spark, ANZ, Google, IAG and Microsoft.

AI Forum executive director Ben Reid described the policy as “an open source template for all to take, revise and use so it’s fit for their own purpose hellip; a practical tool for all Kiwis so they can roll up their sleeves and get on with being the innovators we are.”

He said the report had drawn on the best practice of other nations, and 12 months of research and one of the biggest challenges was to change the perception of AI.

“If we don’t manage to do this, we won’t invest, research, innovate and we will lose out - and this has huge implications for all aspects of life,” Reid said.

“For so long artificial intelligence has been painted as having an unwanted impact on society as a result of it being used to replace jobs.

“Our research turns this view around along with PwC and McKinsey economic models showing more jobs being created because of an abundance of new technology and innovation including AI.

“This aligns with the Productivity Commission’s recent draft report on the future of technology and jobs in New Zealand which finds that there is too little technology-related change in New Zealand, not too much.”

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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