21 June 2018

NZ Government reviews use of algorithms

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As emerging technologies generate mass amounts of data, awareness is growing across the public sector of the need to ensure transparency and accountability in the use and availability of data.

May 2018 saw the NZ Government launch an assessment of how its departments are using algorithms to analyse the data of New Zealand citizens.

Whilst the first stage was forecast to be completed by August, there is no word on whether the resignation of one of its leaders- Government Chief Digital Officer, Colin MacDonald- will affect the review.

Minister for Government Digital Services Clare Curran said in a public statement, “We’re also working internationally within the Digital 7 nations to take the lead on digital rights. The government is acutely aware of the need to ensure transparency and accountability as interest grows regarding the challenges and opportunities associated with emerging technology such as artificial intelligence."

The focus of the review is to ensure data is being leveraged to its full potential to drive positive benefits for citizens.

In another move to involve citizens in data extrapolation processes, Ms Curran also recently launched an AI action plan to educate and upskill people in the use of Artificial Intelligence.

“An ethical framework will give people the tools to participate in conversations about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications in our society and economy,” Clare Curran said.

“With many other countries already focussing on the strategic development of AI, New Zealand must be at the forefront of AI adoption as we strive to compete in the global marketplace.”

It’s the government’s ambition that the report will create a platform for business, government, academia and citizens to be part of the conversation regarding AI and data usage. 

By bringing New Zealand together, it’s hoped this will enable the nation to further their goals as global digital leaders and develop the appropriate support, frameworks and expertise.

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Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire is the manager of Akolade’s government and digital portfolio. She’s passionate about emerging digital trends, particularly in the public sector. In her spare time she enjoys picking up heavy things and putting them back down again and animals are her favourite kind of people. 

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blogs posts @ Claire Dowler

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