Dispelling some of the myths about artificial intelligence and the impact it may have on companies will be the focus of keynote speaker Josh Comrie at the PwC Herald Talks: Business & Bots event this week.
Comrie, chief executive and co-founder of chatbot developer Ambi, has about 20 years of experience in technology, taking relatively complex constructs and simplifying and articulating them for other people.
Comrie will take what he calls one of the most exciting but also misunderstood evolutions of technology and present it so that people can understand the opportunities, ramifications and some of the pitfalls.
"I think the misunderstanding stems from a variety of different information sources and that misinformation has led people to then have concerns and fears. It's the uncertainty that tends to give people fear," Comrie said.
"I will talk about some practical applications of AI ... how businesses are adopting and implementing the technology and the hype around AI."
PwC Herald Talks: Business & Bots
• Wed 9 May, 7-9am SKYCITY Theatre, Auckland
• Thu 10 May, 7-9am at Shed 6, Wellington
• Buy tickets at www.iticket.co.nz/go-to/pwc-herald-talks
Comrie said he would discuss the origin and history of AI, from the industrial revolution to the more recent rise of the much-hyped subject.
"This fourth industrial revolution has really brought it [artificial intelligence] back to the forefront ... and the world is kind of ready for it."
The current use of AI by companies was in the 'innovators' phase on the technology adoption life cycle, he said.
"So we're at the very early phase of it, the innovative phase, that's around about, give or take, 4 per cent of the world's businesses that are experimenting with it right now. I suspect this year we will lead it to the early adopters [stage]," he said.
"I think the passing commentary would be that technology is most likely going to have an incredibly deep and meaningful impact upon business, society and the world, and so the wrong approach I suggest for people is to ignore it and hope it will go away."