top of page

Researcher urges Māori to get ahead within the AI sector

Natasha Hill, Te Rito Journalism Cadet

With the rapid growth of AI technologies, a researcher is looking at Māori voices and representation within the artificial intelligence sector.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Researcher Karaitiana Taiuru (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Toa) said this new technology can open up doors and opportunities for Māori.

“I strongly believe that this is our chance to actually stop being in the negative statistics of everything [including] social, health and all the inequities we know we are a part of. We can actually grab the steering wheel and dictate our own futures by being part of the AI revolution.”

Māori were generally not participating in AI unless they were Māori academics working inside a university, he said.

Taiuru challenged Māori education institutes to add AI courses to their curriculum and encourage dMāori to get involved.

‘Māori could be world leaders’

“There is unlimited potential for Māori right now. We don’t have regulations and we don’t have laws. We’re not only left behind in this area. I think we need to encourage our wānanga to create AI courses and to look at the job market around the world. Create the courses and empower Māori in those roles.”

“It’s just becoming a household name and opportunity that’s just been created. Māori could be world leaders with artificial intelligence and you don’t have to be a scientist, you don’t have to be good at mathematics or statistics. There is a whole range of jobs that require a human factor and even life experience.”

He said it was time to think about how new jobs could be created from artificial intelligence and how Māori could adapt to that.

Taiuru’s research called Māori Voices in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand notes that Māori make up only 4% of the digital/technology sector and less than 1% of the AI sector in New Zealand.

Hero Image: Dr Karaitiana Taiuru is challenging education institutes to implement AI courses.

bottom of page