Hot topics of NetHui 2017: New technology

Many of the programme sessions at this year’s NetHui are devoted to exploring new Internet-enabled technologies. If you’ve been wondering what these techs are and what they may mean for all of us here in Aotearoa New Zealand, then read on!

One of the ways the Internet is described is as the driving force behind a “fourth industrial revolution” - that by adding connectivity, that a new technology-driven step change is already starting to occur across nearly all facets of our economic and social lives. That change creates opportunities and risks; it enables new business models while disrupting some age-old cultural norms; it can be exciting as much as it can be scary sometimes.

New Zealand is right on the front line of these innovations, and our increasingly world-class Internet infrastructure is helping New Zealanders explore what these technologies could be capable of. And that’s what this cluster of NetHui topics are all about:

  • Work that ICT can and cannot do: This session can explore a major topic for the future of NZ: What impact will ICT have on various jobs in the next 20 years? What do you expect to be doing with your time? How can the internet help create local jobs and increase exports? How can we help business people use the internet to value-add rather than sell commodities? How will NZ businesses and business people compete in a globalising world?

  • Incredible Skies: Emerging Hi-Tech is disrupting everything and the brand new CAA approved "Incredible Skies" drone test range in the Hokianga region is attracting companies from all over the world to test here in NZ. What makes NZ so attractive? And what does it mean for us and the rural and largely Māori communities underneath the airspace?

  • Ethics and Safety in the AI Age: Over the last few years great strides in machine intelligence have been made thanks to inspiration from the human brain. We are training machines rather than programming them. How will these learning machines be used? What are the implications for human labour? Should we regulate them? At what point do they deserve rights?

  • Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies: Blockchains and cryptocurrencies have become much more popular in 2017, with a 600% jump in price, the launch of new investment vehicles known as ICOs, and governments looking to build on blockchain technology. However, there are still many issues and discussions we should have as a community, to ensure the technology remains open, accessible, ethical and safe.

  • Games for Good: There is a growing body of educational or behaviour-change video games and apps being developed in NZ that address community needs. Eg, SPARX and HABITS mental health e-therapy games, TVNZ's in-development Childrens Media portal, NZCER's Games for Learning conference, VR apps including Māori cultural storytelling, NZ-made educational games on financial literacy, fire safety, farming, environment. This session will discuss issues surrounding these games and how they can be leveraged for good.

If you want to come along and hear about some cool new technology that is already being used in New Zealand, and what it may mean for you, your business and your whānau, then you need to be at NetHui!

Register now, and see you on Thursday and Friday at the Aotea Centre.