A Government supported forum on artificial intelligence (AI) is launching in Wellington next week.

The New Zealand Artificial Intelligence Forum has been set up by NZTech and will be chaired by investment manager Stuart Christie of the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.

The launch in Wellington on June 7 will be attended by politicians and government agencies.

"The launch of this forum and its ongoing work, with support from government and key organisations, is pivotal to New Zealand tech really taking," Christie said.


"We are seeing so much AI appearing and changing our lives, we are committed to this co-ordinated approach. We'll see big changes in our everyday activities this year and the next few years that many people cannot comprehend," he said.

AI is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in 2017 with news that Apple will have a dedicated AI chip in new phone models and chatbots taking the place of call centre workers. Homes can be now be equipped with smart devices such as Amazon Echo and Alexa and hospitals will soon use robots to triage and assess patients in the UK.

In March, the man behind the pilot test of artificial intelligence in NHS hospitals told the Telegraph robots will "soon be able to diagnose more accurately than almost any doctor."

Just last month the world's top ranked player of the Chinese board game Go was defeated by Google's artificial intelligence, which he described as "godlike".

Christie said companies leading the AI charge in New Zealand include Soul Machine, Xero, Talania, Touchtechlabs, Orion Health, and Air New Zealand.

"The speedy birth of AI in New Zealand is happening right across the country," he said.

"Activity and capability in New Zealand is really gathering momentum on all fronts as the country begins to apply AI and machine learning to technology exports."