A centre for artificial intelligence and public policy is looking to address the unique issues New Zealand will face, and is currently facing, in the era of AI. The centre has been launched in Otago and will explore policy options for managing the introduction of technologies, to maximise their benefits and minimise potential harms. Co-director of the centre, Professor James Maclaurin, said New Zealand’s size sets it apart from other countries and it is important to have people acting in an advisory role.

“Europe has just passed its general data protection regulations but it is a very big player so if they pass laws Facebook and Google really have to listen to them. “New Zealand is a different environment.”

He said New Zealand is more data driven than some countries, which can create problems of bias and profiling. He added that in the United States, a biased algorithm was used to determine the offender life-cycle.

African Americans had a much lower chance of getting out on parole and the algorithm contributed to making this even harder. There are other issues to be looked at, like the relationship between humans and AI.

With autonomous vehicles, as an example, someone who is driving has a reaction of 0.6 of a second but for a monitor, this is around three seconds – a really big difference, he said. “Psychologically, the closest thing to it is trying to teach a teenager to drive, so it’s a hard task.” Read more from radionz.co.nz…

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