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Update from ITPNZ

Paul Matthews. 16 November 2018, 5:01 pm
Update from ITPNZ

Here's a quick weekly update from ITP CEO Paul Matthews.

The team is hard at work preparing for the finals for the Tahi Rua Toru Tech Digital Challenge, including arranging to fly over 100 finalist school students from around New Zealand to Wellington for the mini-expo and national championships on 5th December. We hope you'll join us!

Vint Cerf on Truth, Justice and the Internet

Those in Wellington got to hear from "Father of the Internet" icon Vint Cerf this week, thanks to InternetNZ. He participated in a panel alongside Jefferson Bailey from the Internet Archive (ie the "Way Back Machine"), Dr Rachael Ka'ai-Mahuta (until recently a researcher at Te Ipukarea - The National Māori Language Institute) and Wendy Seltzer from W3C.

It was a remarkable panel that covered a lot of ground. My favourite moment was when Vint talked about the "Turing Test 2" that he had recently invented.

As you may know, a computer passes the original Turing Test if a person interacts (via text) to both a human and a computer and can't tell which is which (ie it's a test of a computer's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour indistinguishable from a human). 

Vint's Turing Test 2 is really about a computer going beyond a human in terms of intelligence, or more accurately, pattern recognition. A computer fails the Turing Test 2 if it interacts with a computer (preferably which successfully passed the original Turing Test) and a human, and can't tell them apart. He outlines this here (this is a link to the Internet Archive version as the actual website appears offline currently). 

You can view the video of the whole panel talk here.

Weltec IT project showcase

One of the things I love about this time of year is getting out to as many tertiary institutions as I can fit in for their Project Showcases - where teams of final-year tertiary IT students demonstrate and talk about their industry-based projects.

This week it was Weltec's turn and as always, they didn't hesitate to seriously impress. Anyone who questions the relevance of IT degrees really should have a read through some of the projects students have undertaken as part of their study - you can read about them all here. Some really great work and the students were super engaged with them.

If you're in Wellington, Whitireia's showcase is next Wednesday, 21st November at 4.30pm to 6.30pm (come anytime and leave when you like). It's at the Learning Street Atrium, Ground floor of the Wikitoria Katene Building, Whitireia Polytechnic, 3 Wineera Drive, Porirua and anyone reading this is welcome to pop in.

Show off your company at the 123Tech National Finals

Teams of school students from across New Zealand are converging on Wellington on 5th December for the 123Tech Mini-expo and National Finals at Te Papa. It's really going to be a bumper event!

We're super excited to be hosting the finals for this outstanding programme. Hundreds of teams of students from Whangarei to Invercargill (and everywhere in between) have participating in the Tahi Rua Toru Tech challenge in their school or codeclub. The best from each region duked it out at the Regional Championship events, and now the winners are heading to Wellington for the National Finals.

The event on the 5th December is also featuring a mini-expo, with companies and organisations showing off some of their wares and latest tech-related developments. We'd love to see you there! Drop a note if you want to a space to help us show what out sector is up to - especially if you have something engaging!

The main part of the event is hosted by Nanogirl Michelle Dickinson, joined by Ian Taylor (CEO of Animation Research Ltd) and other guests.

There's judging and activities all morning, with the public event at 2pm-4pm. All are welcome - come along and hear from Michelle, Ian and others and find out the national winners for 123Tech. Pop it in your diary!

Minister Woods and the CTO role

And lastly, looking forward to meeting with new Digital Minister Megan Woods next Tuesday to discuss ongoing engagement and all things CTO.

We should all shortly have a clearer idea of what (if anything) the future of the Government CTO role looks like. Hopefully we'll see some forward progress.

Have a great weekend!


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