It’s 2033, less than ten years away.
What does daily life look like in world where a new sentient intelligence may be among us? An artificial intelligence on par with, or surpassing our own. This would be an epoch defining development in human civilisation.
Join Diplosphere's visual journey into the future, examining various aspects of daily life impacted by AI. We will explore both the upsides and downsides with experts from Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world, in the short, medium and long-terms.
The conference will help New Zealand design a world-leading approach to this powerful technology as it develops rapidly.
Education: How do we teach our kids?
Jobs: Where are they? Where will my kids be working?
Climate: How does AI affect climate?
Is there a silver lining from a sustainability perspective?
Health: How can AI transform the future of healthcare?
Food: What is the great promise in food production? What does this mean for New Zealand’s primary sector export-driven economy?
The Geopolitics of AI: Will machines be fighting? Are autonomous weapons systems the new nuclear threat?
Wealth distribution between rich and poor
Ethics, cultural and Māori data sovereignty
Government regulation: Keeping safe without stifling innovation
Innovation & creativity: Artists, how will they survive in a world of Deep Fakes
Investment/Business: How can NZ lead?
Date: Tuesday, 29 August 2023
Time: 8:45 AM – 4:30 PM NZST (Registration starts at 8:00 AM)
Venue: Tākina Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre
50 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Anticipating hundreds of participants, it will be a day for policymakers, government agencies, business leaders, thinkers, Māori iwis, technologists, artists, diplomats, lawyers, entrepreneurs, educators, health professionals, and the general public to engage, be inspired and exchange views.
The tale of our future with AI has not been written yet.
How would you like to play it out?
Tuesday 29 August 2023 | Tākina Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre
08:00 – 08:50
Registration and Barista Brew by Arcanum AI
08:50 – 09:00
09:00 – 09:05
Welcome to the Most Important Conversation of our Time!
Maty Nikkhou-O’Brien, Founder & Executive Director, Diplosphere (Convenor)
John Allen, Chancellor, Victoria University of Wellington; CEO WellingtonNZ
09:05 – 09:30
Keynote Address | Hon Ginny Andersen, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications
Chair: Dan O’Brien, Co-founder & Director, Diplosphere, Tech Trailblazer
09:30 – 10:15
On the Political Agenda
With the New Zealand general election set for October 2023, join our politicians from across the political spectrum as they share their perspectives on AI. The incoming government is likely to face AI breakthroughs in its term. What policies can help the country take advantage of the AI boost to improve productivity and public services while addressing ethical concerns, regulatory frameworks, and the need for re-skilling. How can New Zealand proactively prepare? How can we shape this?
Chair: Peter Griffin, Science and Technology Journalist, Business Desk, The Listener
Hon Judith Collins MP, National Party Spokesperson for Research, Science, AI and Technology
Chlöe Swarbrick MP, Green Party Spokesperson for Digital Economy and Communications
Natalia Albert, Deputy Leader, The Opportunities Party
10:15 – 10:45
Morning Tea, Mix and Mingle
10:45 – 12:00
Session 1 | Near-Future Breakthroughs and “Holy-Sh*t” Moments
It is not hyperbole to give a 50-50 chance of an artificial general intelligence in our midst within the next ten years. Many AI researchers have recently experienced a “holy-sh*t!” moment witnessing AI doing something they weren’t expecting to see for many years (Stuart Russell). AI may translate in major improvements in science and technology reducing accidents, disease, injustice, war, drudgery and poverty (Max Tegmark). What are the current leading developments? What near-future breakthroughs could we expect? And where is it all heading?
Chair: Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard, Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor
Gil Meron, CEO, Sprout NZ Agritech & Foodtech
Priya L. Donti, Incoming Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Co-founder & Executive Director, Climate Change AI
Igor Costa, Senior Architect, GitHub
Kimball Thurston, CTO, Wētā FX
Dr Shay Mandler, Spine Surgeon, Wellington Regional Hospital
Asa Cox, Founder & CEO, Arcanum AI
12:00 – 13:00
Session 2 | Education, Work and Productivity
How will children learn and what should they learn? Where will jobs be, what will they look like, and where will our children work? AI tools could drive a 7% (or almost $7 trillion) increase in global GDP and lift productivity growth by 1.5 percentage points over a 10-year period - at the same time expose up to 300 million full-time jobs to automation. Where will graduate level jobs be in law, accounting, medicine, education, and technology? Is it realistic to look to the past for analogies, when this technology breakthrough promises to move much faster? What is the role of the tech sector in the economic future of NZ considering its contribution to a substantial number of high-paying jobs and attractive returns for investors?
Chair: Robyn Baker, Chair, Teaching Council of Aotearoa NZ; former Chair, NZ National Commission for UNESCO
Dr Matthew Birchall, Research Fellow, NZ Initiative
Jack Webster, Doctoral Student, Digital Citizenship, Auckland University
Kelly Eckhold, Chief Economist, Westpac; former Senior Financial Sector Expert, IMF
Tim Bradley, Strategic Advisor – Digital Economy, Amazon Web Services Australia-NZ
13:00 – 13:50
AI Fusion Networking Lunch
13:50 – 14:20
Keynote Conversation | Gerard de Graaf, EU Senior Envoy for Digital to Silicon Valley | AI in the EU and 450 Million Citizens
The European Union's AI Act is the first major AI-specific legislation which would attempt to regulate the use of AI across the 27 EU member states, and also has extra-territorial application. What does it mean for us?
Chair: Peter Griffin, Science and Technology Journalist, Business Desk, The Listener
14:20 – 15:00
Session 3 | Regulation vs Innovation
“Regulate us”, is the call from tech leaders like OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Google’s Sundar Pichai. But the reality on the ground is that 10s of billions of dollars is already being mobilised to better, faster, cheaper AI.
Our laws need rapid updating to keep up with AI, which poses tough legal questions involving privacy, liability and regulation (Max Tegmark). Is the EU Act’s risk-based approach a model for New Zealand? What about the Māori Data Sovereignty? How to regulate without stifling innovation? What are other jurisdictions doing?
Chair: Madeline Newman, Executive Director, AI Forum
David Shanks, former Chief Censor; Executive Director, RDC Group
Dr Karaitiana Taiuru JP, Māori AI/Data and Emerging Tech Ethicist, Māori Data & Kaupapa Māori Researcher, Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor
Sam Irvine, CEO, Copyright Licensing NZ
15:00 – 15:30
Session 4 | Being Human in the Age of AI
A new sentient intelligence is only a handful of breakthroughs away, of our own making. Without ethical guardrails, it risks reproducing real world biases and discrimination, fuelling divisions and threatening fundamental human rights and freedoms. How do we retain its humanism and our humanity while reaping the rewards of this advance? How will AI progress change what it means to be human?
Chair: Liz Longworth, Chair, NZ National Commission for UNESCO
Scott Houston, Innovation Hero, Founder of GreenButton (acquired by Microsoft)
Dave Moskovitz, Chair, Global Entrepreneurship Network; Co-chair, Wellington Abrahamic Council of Jews, Christians & Muslims
15:30 – 16:30
Session 5 | New Zealand and the World in the Age of AI: Geopolitical Implications
AI is likely to have a broad range of applications for international politics, from military and defence to trade and diplomacy. How does AI change geopolitics in a digital world where physical boundaries are not the barriers they once were? Are autonomous weapons systems the new nuclear threat? Will machines be fighting? Tackling the elephant in the room: can/will AI take over the world? And what role and place for a small nation like New Zealand?
Chair: Her Excellency Nina Obermaier, EU Ambassador to Aotearoa NZ
Lydia Khalil, Digital Threats to Democracy Project Director, Lowy Institute
Mary Wareham, Arms Director of Human Rights Watch
Dr Matt Boyd, Philosopher & Research Director (Health, Technology & Catastrophic Risk), Adapt Research
Andy Prow, Founder, RedShield Security
Mako Yass, Philosopher-designer, Winner of the Future of Life Institute World Building Contest