feb 1, 2018 - Some of the top cutting-edge tech companies, academics and leading tech chief executives will unleash all the latest information and how AI (artificial intelligence) is impacting on New Zealanders’ lives at a major event in Auckland in March. AI Day 2018 in Auckland on March 28 will be the biggest AI event ever to be held in New Zealand. The conference is being organised by NewZealand.AI and the AI Forum NZ, which is part of the NZ Tech Alliance, bringing together 14 tech communities, over 500 organisations and more than 100,000 employees to help create a more prosperous New Zealand underpinned by technology. New Zealand’s trail-blazing AI event will showcase the major steps AI has made in recent times and is starting to have impacts across the country, AI Forum New Zealand executive director Ben Reid says. Some of the trail-blazing pioneers of AI at the event include Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice president, AI business, at Microsoft; Dawie Olivier, chief information officer for Westpac NZ; Kathryn Hempstalk, head of data and insights at Trade Me; David Leach, chief executive at Qrious; Eduard Liebenberger, chief tech officer at Jade; Kurt Janssen, chief executive at Orbica; Mahmood Hikmet , data scientist, at Ohmio and Angie Judge, chief executive, at Dexibit. “This event is about building New Zealand's AI community and helping kiwi businesses better serve their customers with AI, as well as emphasising the benefits of AI for people and society” Reid says. “Last year saw an explosion of machine learning in production use - AI technologies have moved beyond experimentation and are now being leveraged for practical applications in every domain thinkable. “Real world applications of AI are everywhere and out in the open these days. From Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant on your smartphone to the intelligent computer vision that enables Amazon’s new cashier-less grocery stores, there are plenty of examples of AI making our lives easier and more productive. “In fact, most people use or interact with AI every day, but seldom recognise it. When AI is done well, it usually becomes invisible. No one actively thinks of Amazon product recommendations or Netflix's 'Recommended for you' list as Artificial Intelligence, yet machine learning algorithms power these systems. “There are exciting developments applying AI to environmental goals – for example the Cacophony Project is using AI to radically improve trapping and accelerate us towards a pest free New Zealand. "There are incredible opportunities at the intersection of AI with people and society - initiatives such as the international Partnership on AI and Microsoft's AI for Good programme are just some examples of how AI can be used to leave a lasting, positive impact on the world. “Investment in the right skills is important. Demand for data scientists will surpass demand for engineers. According to IBM, demand for data scientists will increase to 2.7 million by 2020. China has recently stated that AI related courses will be added into the curriculum of primary and secondary schools – what are we doing in New Zealand to keep up? “AI Day is an opportunity for leaders and innovators to come together and start engaging with AI now to secure a prosperous and thriving future for New Zealand.”
Industries rise, fall and evolve under the constant development of new and innovative technologies. Refrigeration changed how food was supplied, the lightbulb enabled us to utilise more hours in the day, the telephone connected people and the internet distributed information far better and quicker than ever before.
Jan 30, 2018 - The new Lord Mayor of London Charles Bowman will be among key speakers at the major Digital Nations 2030 summit in Auckland on February 19 and 20. The 690th London lord mayor and a long-time partner of PWC, Bowman will sit on a panel at the summit with Frances Valintine, founder of Tech Futures Lab; Ian Taylor, chief executive of Animation Research; Leigh Flounders, board member of NZTech; Vic Crone, chief executive of Callaghan Innovation and Carolyn Tremain, chief executive of the Ministry of Business‚ Innovation and Employment. They will discuss the digital economy, increasing productivity and economic benefits of digital transformation, skills for the future and digital leadership for a new wave of thinking, process and opportunity. The event, Digital Nations 2030, is an international meeting coinciding with the visiting ministerial and business delegations from the world’s leading Digital Nations and the D5 meeting in Wellington next month. The D5 is a network of the world’s most advanced digital nations. Other speakers include Tomas Izo who leads a Google team of engineers and scientists researching digital issues which contribute to a wide range of products across Google and Alphabet, such as video understanding for YouTube and Cloud Platform APIs. Sandra Ng, group vice president Asia Pacific, IDC in Singapore, will deliver one of the opening keynote addresses. She will be talking about digital transformation. “2017 was the dawn of the DX (digital transformation) economy. By DX economy, we mean digital transformation will attain macroeconomic scale and impact,” Ng says. “It will become the core of what industry leaders do and how they operate. 2018 is when the ticking clock starts. Nations and organisations slow to adopt a digital-native operating model will compete for a smaller and smaller piece of the global economy.” Weta Digital’s visual effects supervisor Anders Langlands will showcase digital and creative industry excellence in the key address on the second day. From humble beginnings, Weta Digital has become a cornerstone of Wellington’s thriving film industry. Widely regarded as one of the best in the business, their creativity and commitment to developing innovative technology has set them apart as industry leaders. Langlands will present Weta Digital’s recent work on the Oscar nominated film War for the Planet of the Apes, and the evolution of the technology and artistry behind their films. NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says the summit is the biggest and most important international tech conference ever to be staged in New Zealand and will help pave way for faster advances in the Kiwi economy. “Changes and tech developments are happening globally at a phenomenal and unprecedented rate. Last year we saw the launch of a self-driving vehicle firm in New Zealand, face-detecting systems to authorise payments, the creation of new solar devices that could create cheap and continuous power and the relentless push to add connectivity to home gadgets,” Muller says. The Digital Nations conference is expected to attract more than 500 people including D5 Ministers and their delegations, invited international experts and New Zealand digital leaders and influencers representing all sectors.
The Tour de Chef weekend is back for this year on May 25-27 at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. Michelin star chef Josh Emett and Hawke’s Bay foodie and cheese expert extraordinaire Juliet Harbutt and Craggy Range Wines.
Dec 15, 2017 - More young people in 2018 in Canterbury will have the chance to set up and run their own ventures, learning first-hand from local business mentors and developing critical skills for future employment and study. Ara Institute of Canterbury is the new regional partner for The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) and is enthusiastic about becoming more actively involved after previously hosting YES events.
“We are thrilled to work with Ara Institute of Canterbury to continue supporting local entrepreneurs. We know Ara will be able to offer value and support to the schools we work with to further impact youth entrepreneurship in the region,” Head of YES Dr Colin Kennedy said. The Lion Foundation YES is an experiential year-long programme where senior secondary students set up and run a business while still in school with real products and services, real profit and loss.
Ara will utilise its network of relationships with Canterbury schools and local businesses to support and grow the scheme. Some 500 students will be engaged in the scheme in 2018, participating in the journey of coming up with an innovative idea and developing it further into a successful business.
Head of the Department of Business at Ara, Michaela Blacklock, said that the two organisations share similar values and Ara was delighted to become a YES regional partner.
“Working with the students, teachers, mentors and sponsors involved in Young Enterprise in 2018, we can support and challenge our young people to develop their potential. They could go on to become Canterbury’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders – and that’s exciting,” she said. “The practical nature of YES aligns directly with the Ara focus on applied learning, where students learn by doing from day one. We apply this principle to all of our business programmes ensuring that our students get the best possible learning experience by applying theory as they learn it.” Blacklock says Canterbury is a leader in understanding the social, economic and environmental impacts of business activity.
“Christchurch hosted the Social Enterprise World Forum this year, and we have many successful social enterprises here to inspire YES participants. You only have to look at Anteater and My Green Dinner Table, both created by former Ara students, to see what is possible.”“Young people are playing a pivotal role in transforming and growing the local economy, and in creating a better world.”
CORE Education has provided the umbrella for YES in Canterbury in recent years with the number of students taking part regionally growing year on year. Ara looks forward to building on this from 2018 and is grateful for the work CORE have put into the programme to this point.
Dec 12, 2017 - Tourists to New Zealand have, in the past, not heard of Kiwi icons such as jandals, creamota, Chesdale cheese, eskimo pies, buzzy bees and pineapple lumps. But over time, symbols and icons representing a culture like New Zealand have changed and merged with the global environment, leading Auckland artist Rewa Walia says. She is staging a major symbolic art exhibition - Abducted – at the Depot Artspace, in, Devonport, Auckland from December 28 to January 17. With the rapid onslaught of digital technology and social media symbols which are not restricted to a land or physical territory, Kiwi icons are becoming more well known around the globe, Walia says. “New Zealand is just the same as any other place with internet connection in the world, where YouTube, Facebook, twitter and google are accessible at the click of a button. My symbolic series explores the possibilities of the blurring of cultural identities and a new formed universal one which everyone can relate to. “I've adapted the old New Zealand icons, brand logos and brand ambassadors from communication and advertising messages and fused them with the global icons of the digital world. “The finished work delves into the medium of communication from the past and present in New Zealand, with an emphasis on social media and the need of repetition in communication of messages mass produced. “Christmas in New Zealand is a special time when people get the opportunity to unwind and soak in the beauty of nature and beautiful relationships as they meet and greet family and friends. We are exposed to thousands of messages every day and I've created artwork using social media and popular symbols used in the digital and real world. “We live in a world driven by choices, some forced upon us and others we make to fit in, creating an alter identity far removed from nature. “A virtual world does not engage all the senses and life spent mostly in front of a digital device especially during Christmas time, when we need to engage with family and friends instead of connect with people in cyber space is a life less lived. Imagine getting the full benefit of human connections and nature at its best this summer. Do it differently this holiday season and say no to the digital world and yes to the real. “Social media is another result of consumerism, taking up time we would have otherwise spent on human relationships, creation and small acts of daily life that we used to take for granted. The more time we spend on digital technology and social media, the less time we will have for these intimate moments and physical expressions of creativity. “It is very easy to be consumed by cyber space so much so that you start to question, what is reality? In the moment that I create art, that is my reality and then it changes at the flick of a button.” Walia’s works are featuring in one of the world’s biggest digital online art exhibition on the Wrong Pavilion website, with a page dedicated to her work. The online exhibition will remain open until January 31.
| | A MakeLemonade release for Rewa Walia || December 12, 2017 |||
Dec 7, 2017 - New Zealand has, over the last couple of years, become a hotbed of activity for both local and international agritech companies and start-ups. The growth in digital technologies and connectivity within the primary sector has enabled grassroots innovators develop revolutionary ideas for the local industry. If we looked at farming alone, 415 apps, software and smart tools are currently listed on Agri One’s national database, which tracks tools designed to help farmers manage rural businesses.
As competition ramps up within the sector, large agritech communities have developed around our traditional centres of Christchurch, Hamilton and Auckland. But the focus is not just on the New Zealand market. Local, national and international events continue to showcase the opportunities available to agritech companies throughout the globe.
MobileTECH has been a key international agritech event held in New Zealand every year since 2013. Last year, over 300 technology leaders, developers and early adopters from throughout the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors gathered to exchange ideas and discuss new technologies.
For the 2018 event, a large section of the programme is dedicated to improving New Zealand’s agritech ecosystem and designed to encourage industry collaboration. Callaghan Innovation, Sprout (New Zealand) and WNT Ventures are on-hand to highlight how companies and entrepreneurs are developing their products and what support structures are available.
“The critical debate though, will be how the sector can continue to grow through better collaboration. Researchers, developers, innovators, investors and industry operators can all benefit from meeting under the one roof,” said MobileTECH programme manager, Ken Wilson.“The primary sector has always been the backbone to New Zealand’s thriving economy, so it is not surprising to see the opportunities available to our agritech community”.
In addition to the NZ focus, MobileTECH 2018 delegates will also hear from Sam Trethewey, Director of the Australian agritech accelerator, SproutX. Mr Trethewey offers fresh thinking and is a passionate leader for the integration of technology within the sector.
Agriculture is the fastest growing pillar of the Australian economy. Agtech continues to play an increasingly larger role in driving its growth, from inside the farm gate, through the supply chain and into consumer markets. SproutX is leading agtech development in Australia with a large national footprint that covers communities from Perth to Hobart and up to Cairns. SproutX also runs the only early stage agtech venture capital fund in the Asia Pacific and works alongside industry bodies, farmers, government, corporates and entrepreneurs.
Mr Trethewey is excited to be addressing MobileTECH 2018. “New Zealand agriculture leads the world and it’s through events like this that we get to understand who, why and how,” he said.
MobileTECH 2018 will be running on 27-28 March 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand. Further details can be found on the event website, www.mobiletech.events.
Nov 24, 2017 - Artificial intelligence, machine learning and smart data are major themes at next year’s MobileTECH 2018. This is one of New Zealand’s largest agritech events and will see technology leaders from throughout the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors gather in Rotorua in late March. The pace of change within the primary sector is continuing to be driven by advances in new digital technologies. While New Zealand has been a world leader in traditional farming systems, it is critical for the sector to maintain and grow productivity through the smart adoption of these new innovations.
“MobileTECH 2018 will continue to be a platform for change and showcase where the industry is headed,” said Ken Wilson, MobileTECH’s programme manager.
“The 2018 programme will feature over 35 speakers covering disruptive topics like the integration of machine learning in health and safety systems, blockchain for secure agricultural transactions and key learnings from the successful rollout of the Internet of Things (IoT) to farms throughout New Zealand.”
Thundermaps uses machine learning algorithms and big data to redefine health and safety in rural locations. OSPRI now use Thundermaps to protect their contractors working on farms. The system tracks millions of data points to ensure, via a mobile app, that the contractor receives relevant real-time hazard warnings no matter how remote the location. Both companies will be presenting at MobileTECH.
Blockchain is set to become the future for payment and supply-chain systems. Australian-based company, AgriDigital, will be on-hand to discuss what this means for the primary industry. AgriDigital delivered the world’s first live settlement of a physical commodity using blockchain technology. The pilot project saw the sale and successful delivery of 23 metric tonnes of wheat to a beef farm in NSW using the blockchain system.
The Internet of Things has moved from being an exciting upcoming technology to one that is delivering real benefits to early adopters throughout the industry. A number of speakers, including network provider Spark Ventures, agritech company ReGen and King Country farmer Lachlan Chapman, will focus on the real-world application of IoTs.
“The MobileTECH 2018 programme will open with the big technology trends and discuss how we can improve investment and collaboration within the agritech community,” said Mr Wilson. “Day two gets hands-on, highlighting practical case studies on the adoption and use of these innovations by primary sector businesses up and down the country.”
MobileTECH 2018 will be running on 27-28 March 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand. Further details can be found on the event website, www.mobiletech.events..