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Reality Check: NZTech's Graeme Muller

Reality Check: NZTech's Graeme Muller

As part of Idealog's Technology Month, we've picked the brains of some of the movers and shakers in the industry to find out their favourite tech-related things, their biggest fears for the future and what other companies and individuals inspire their work. Here's NZTech CEO Graeme Muller.

What’s your favourite…

Technology you can’t live without?  

iPhone.

Underrated or old technology?

The bicycle.

New Zealand tech company or individual in that space that’s doing seriously cool things?

Peter Beck & Rocket Labs – who would have thought a Kiwi rocket in space!

Global tech company or individual in that space that’s doing seriously cool things? 

Anne Wojcicki & 23andMe – comeback queen!
 

Tech project or product you’ve had a hand in? 

LookSee – attracting tech talent to NZ.
 

Tech project or product that isn’t yours, but your envious of? 

Latipay.

What first drew you to this industry? 

Unlimited opportunities.

What do you enjoy the most about working in tech? 

The passion of the people.

How would you describe New Zealand’s tech culture? 

Vibrant and confident.

Where does inspiration come from for you? 

Helping to build the future for my daughter.

Reality check

How has tech impacted on your work? How will it impact on it in the future?  

I can do more, faster. Hopefully my AI will one day do more faster so I can ski more faster.

What’s been the most concerning change that technology has made to human behaviour, in your experience?  

Technology can be used to amplify human behaviour. So great things can be done, but when used for bad things, like bullying, the impact is amplified.

How would you describe your relationship with technology?Do you think you’re addicted to any form of it? 

I’m the boss and I constantly threaten to turn it off.  Knowing I can find any information I need any time is great, but so is knowing that it has an off button.

Do you think social media is a blessing or a curse? 

Social media is a double-edged sword. Be careful how you use it and it can be great.

Do you think technology needs more laws surrounding it, or a form of resource consent regulation? 

Technology doesn’t need more laws, people need the laws.

What needs to be done to tackle the diversity issue in tech? 

Lots, and proactively. Exposing people to tech, teaching tech at all schools, ensuring everyone has equal access, actively identifying unconscious bias, I could go on…

What worries you the most about technology? 

If we don’t get the next coupe of decades right there are potentially some pretty significant downsides to AI.

What’s your scariest prediction for the future? Will the robots kill us all? 

I don’t think the robots will set out to kill us. But if we get it wrong a better analogy might be a similar relationship to how we treat ants.

What will New Zealand look like as a country in 2037? 

I am a glass half full guy so in 2037, when my daughter is in her twenties New Zealand will be more prosperous with world leading tech and food tech businesses, an advanced education system that personalises education so nobody is left behind, proactive community based health care and a low carbon environment that continues to attract high wealth tourists to breath our fresh air and swim in our clean water.