The University of Waikato brings data to life, positioning New Zealand as an international leader in artificial intelligence with the launch of a new AI institute.
The institute, Te Ipu o te Mahara, which translates to “ A Receptacle of Consciousness, ” focuses on translating New Zealand’s cutting-edge expertise in AI, time analysis Reality of Big Data and Machine Learning, in Business Enterprises and Applications for the Benefit of New Zealand Industries and Communities.
Institute director Professor Albert Bifet, renowned for his contributions to data science, said the institute’s goal is to link Waikato’s world-class training and education with research from cutting edge and ultimately driving New Zealand’s growing tech industry.
“Artificial intelligence and Maori technology have been identified as growth engines for New Zealand and Te Ipu o te Mahara’s goal is to leverage our leading expertise for the benefit of New Zealand.”
Waikato is already an AI and machine learning pioneer, responsible for applications like WEKA, the world’s first open source machine learning library that has been downloaded over 10 million times. Its researchers have also written books on machine learning and data mining used by Google employees and IT departments at universities around the world. The University also recently invested in New Zealand’s most powerful computer for AI.
Alongside Professor Bifet, Professor Bernhard Pfahringer, Professor Eibe Frank and Associate Professor Te Taka Keegan are co-directors of the Institute.
Prof Bifet said AI will transform research and business in New Zealand, with technology currently being New Zealand’s third largest export sector. New Zealand’s 200 largest tech companies generated $ 12.7 billion in revenue in 2020.
âBig Data real-time analytics research offers tremendous opportunities to start new businesses and transform existing businesses in New Zealand. It offers a radical change in computing performance, efficiency and effectiveness in processing the huge data sets behind deep learning, machine learning and AI, âsays Professor Bifet.
The Institute recently participated in bringing together seven of the eight New Zealand universities involved in AI in Hobbiton, with the aim of connecting and further developing the New Zealand AI community.
âWe are focused on building collaborative relationships between the Institute, the wider AI research community and the business community, both in New Zealand and overseas, and then using this research to support entrepreneurship and the commercialization of AI technology, âsays Professor Bifet.
The Institute’s associate director, Jannat Maqbool, will be responsible for fostering these relationships.
âAlong with the work of experts and researchers, one of the main objectives of the Institute will be to generate enthusiasm among young people for STEM and AI subjects, so that New Zealand can benefit from a local talent pool. with diverse perspectives to take advantage of this technology in the future, âsays Ms. Maqbool.
The Institute will deliver programs in schools, deliver professional programs for industry, and help people connect and invent new ways to meet today’s challenges, using AI.
Te Ipu o te Mahara will serve in the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science at the University of Waikato.
The Institute is officially launched tonight at the University’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.
For more information, visit the Institute website.
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