NZ Government and WEF to examine AI strategy

The New Zealand Government will examine regulation of artificial intelligence in conjunction with the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The move follows release by WEF a month earlier of a framework designed to “guide governments that are yet to develop a national strategy for AI or which are in the process of developing such a strategy.”

WEF said the framework would help teams responsible for developing the national AI strategy to ask the right questions, follow the best practices, identify and involve the right stakeholders in the process and create the right set of outcome indicators.

“Essentially, the framework provides a way to create a ‘minimum viable”’ AI strategy for a nation,” WEF said.

According to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) the joint project with WEF, Re-imagining Regulation in the Age of AI, will bring a New Zealand perspective to a global discussion.

GCDO Paul James said New Zealand’s Te Ao M?ori worldview gave New Zealand a unique perspective to approaching some of the problems in the AI space.

On 30 October over 50 guests including AI experts, business, civil society, M?oridom and academia attended a workshop in Wellington to start a national conversation and discuss New Zealand’s role in contributing to the global conversation on the AI revolution.

According to DIA, participants discussed key themes of AI such as incorporating trust and empathy, ensuring transparent use, and ensuring all voices are considered in its design and implementation.

In October 2018 the government released a report into the use of algorithms by government agencies, saying there were few safeguards against biased algorithms, and ample scope for government agencies to lift their game.

That report followed one in May issued by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission warning that public sector use of algorithms for predictive purposes could lead to unfair treatment of individuals or groups. It called for steps to be taken to ensure such practices conformed to human rights and ethical standards.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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