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NZ tech company launches free AI framework

A New Zealand tech company has released a free AI framework for Kiwi businesses, amid concerns few companies are well prepared to harness the game-changing technology.

Auror, which specialises in retail crime and loss prevention technology, has created the Responsible Technology and AI Framework, which has been designed for businesses of all sizes to develop their own robust and ethical AI processes.

Auror has also released a new survey showing that although more than 40 percent of New Zealanders consider artificial intelligence as a force for good, only 18 percent believe businesses are well placed to harness its potential.

The Attitudes to AI survey, commissioned by Auror and conducted by research firm Talbot Mills, showed New Zealanders are most excited about AI’s potential to stop crime (78 percent) and improve healthcare (76 percent), but there was a clear gap between its potential uses and how prepared businesses are to embrace this technology.

Phil Thomson, Auror Co-Founder and CEO says, as a nation, New Zealand is in its infancy in terms of regulation and governance around AI, hence the critical need for a framework to help businesses establish responsible AI processes.

Read more: Businesses grow concerned about AI development

He says that in the development of its crime reporting software, Auror has been through its own journey to ensure the platform’s use of AI reflects global best practice, and the company is now using its experience to pave the way for other businesses.

“When building our own understanding of responsible AI, we struggled to find resources that were practical and simple to follow. The businesses we interact with were reporting the same issue,” Thomson says.

Phil Thomson.

“We felt a duty to share the framework we have developed to help other businesses, regardless of size or sector, harness the power of AI, while ensuring they’re thinking about the impacts this technology can have on the users, the wider community, and their own business.”

Auror’s Attitudes to AI survey also revealed that when it comes to the impacts of AI, New Zealanders are most concerned about the potential privacy risks it poses. 

“Auror is a privacy-first business. We want to change the narrative of privacy being a risk factor, to an opportunity for innovation. Our framework is designed to help organisations develop, deploy, and manage tech and AI systems in a manner that prioritises ethical considerations like privacy, as well as transparency, diversity, fairness, and accountability,” Thomson says.

“In a world of constant technological advancements, new technology and AI has emerged as a game-changer across industries. So now, the job is for businesses to distinguish themselves by how responsibly they use it within their communities. Auror’s new Responsible Technology and AI Framework will help New Zealand organisations lead the way in setting robust ethical AI standards that address the factors Kiwis are most concerned about.”

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