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Waves of AI disruption for key New Zealand business sectors

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This article was published on 26 March 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) will have an extreme impact on New Zealand’s agriculture and health sectors in the next decade.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will have an extreme impact on New Zealand’s agriculture and health sectors in the next decade. That’s according to a white paper launched today by New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation, which involved leaders in AI, including technical experts and business innovators.

Released ahead of AI Day on 28 March, the white paper predicts how AI will affect our agriculture, digital, energy and health sectors within the next few years. It details how different AI technologies will disrupt each sector in waves and showcases local examples of AI-powered businesses.

Callaghan Innovation Chief Executive, Vic Crone, says that while there are outstanding Kiwi innovators using AI in these sectors, many businesses leaders are yet to embrace the incredible opportunities it presents and risk falling behind.

“Artificial intelligence is not just a technology for tech companies. In New Zealand and around the world, businesses across diverse industries are using it in a host of ways to create serious competitive advantages,” says Ms Crone.

Vic Crone, Callaghan Innovation Chief Executive
Vic Crone, Callaghan Innovation Chief Executive

“In agriculture AI is driving automated harvesting and milking, smart monitoring of plants and stock health, as well as more precise forecasting of crop and dairy yields. In the health sector we have a huge opportunity to lead the way in improving access to healthcare with AI powered self-diagnosis tools, such as smartphone apps. AI systems are also sifting through oceans of data to predict health issues in advance and with more precision than we ever imagined.”

Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, businesses driven by AI insights, big data and the Internet of Things will “steal” $US 1.2 trillion a year from competitors who don’t embrace the opportunities. Jonathan Miller, Callaghan Innovation’s National Technology Manager and the white paper’s co-ordinator, says the risks and opportunities of AI ride on the ability of Kiwi firms to engage with the technology.

Jonathan Miller, Callaghan Innovation National Tech Network Manager - Data and IoT
Jonathan Miller, Callaghan Innovation National Tech Network Manager - Data and IoT

“Kiwi businesses can absolutely thrive in a world where everyone is waking up to the potential of AI. To be successful, it’s important they understand the different types of AI technologies and how to apply them to create real value in their specific situation and environment,” says Mr Miller.

“We hope this paper motivates more firms to find out how AI can solve their problems and create new opportunities, new enterprises, and even new sectors. Our AI experts and business advisors at Callaghan Innovation are happy to help with advice, connections, technical services, and R&D co-funding.”

Callaghan Innovation's AI white paper aims to stimulate discussion ahead of AI Day and the release of a national report by the AI Forum New Zealand. 

PDF iconDownload Callaghan Innovation's AI Whitepaper

 

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