top of page

19 Jun 2024

Stuff

Fear AI will 'wipe out humanity' creates calls in US for 'kill switch'

Could artificial Intelligence turn against its human creators and cut off a city’s water supply? Or is AI hacking into nuclear codes and “blowing everybody up” a risk?

Newsable

19 Jun 2024

Newshub

Nvidia eclipses Microsoft to become the world's most valuable company

Nvidia's stunning surge in market value over the past year has become emblematic of a Wall Street frenzy driven by optimism about emerging AI technology.

Finn Hogan

11 Jun 2024

Newshub

Apple Intelligence: iPhone maker unveils massive AI makeover

Apple has announced a suite of new artificial intelligence (AI) features and operating system upgrades at the opening presentation of its annual developer conference, WWDC.

Daniel Rutledge, Finn Hogan

24 May 2024

Newshub

How Google's sweeping shift to AI-powered search results could reshape internet

Google has announced a pivot to AI-generated search results, first showing AI summaries ahead of human-made websites - a seemingly minor change with massive ramifications.

"If you use the internet at all? This is going to impact your life," said Allyn Robins, AI lead at the Brainbox Institute.

Finn Hogan

15 May 2024

Office of the Privacy Commissioner NZ

What’s missing from the conversation on AI?

Speakers: James Ting-Edwards, OPC; Mandy Henk, Tohatoa; Karaitiana Taiuru, Māori Tech Ethicist; Allyn Robins, Brainbox

Panel Discussion

6 May 2024

The Spinoff

Here’s what happened when I replaced my personality with the Meta AI chatbot for a day

Keeping up with online communication can be exhausting, so Fran Barclay enlisted the help of Meta’s new ‘intelligent assistant’ to respond to all her messages. Could her mates tell the difference?

Fran Barclay

27 Mar 2024

NZ Herald

AI revolution: Why the speed of human job losses is causing concern

“Spark is one of the first big tech companies to admit to replacing jobs with AI, but it certainly won’t be the last – and many more companies will be doing it quietly,” says Victoria University senior lecturer in artificial intelligence Andrew Lensen.

Chris Keall

3 Mar 2024

Newsroom

Parliament considered banning WeChat as well as Tiktok

A proposal by Parliament’s cyber-security team to ban WeChat has so far been unsuccessful. But they are still “assessing options” when it comes to apps that pose a risk to MPs’ security.

Laura Walters

22 Feb 2024

Tech Policy Press

Building Common Infrastructure for Meaningful Tech Transparency

Tom Barraclough and Jason Pielemeier from the Action Coalition on Meaningful Transparency (ACT) say tech transparency is an emerging ecosystem that requires nurturing, support, and the development of long-lasting infrastructure, including the ACT’s new Transparency Initiatives Portal.

Tom Barraclough, Jason Pielemeier

20 Feb 2024

NZ Herald

Survey finds most Kiwis worried about malicious AI - Technology Minister Judith Collins responds

Research commissioned by InternetNZ revealed 72 per cent of New Zealanders are concerned AI will be used for malicious purposes and without regulation.

Chris Keall

15 Feb 2024

AI Forum

Launch of NZ AI Policy Tracker from The Brainbox Institute welcomed by AIFNZ

The recent launch of a significant resource, the NZ AI Policy Tracker, by the esteemed Brainbox Institute is welcomed by the AI Forum New Zealand. This tool represents a pioneering effort to consolidate information concerning Aotearoa New Zealand’s disparate AI regulatory framework, providing a unified platform for accessing pertinent materials.

7 Feb 2024

RNZ

The Panel with Ali Jones and Ed McKnight (Part 2)

Brainbox AI Lead Allyn Robins discussed facial recognition technology on RNZ's The Panel, shedding light on its workings amid the Foodstuffs trial of the tech in supermarkets.

The Panel

29 Jan 2024

RNZ

Could Taylor Swift be the catalyst for AI regulation?

US politicians have called for new laws to criminalise the creation of deepfake images and Twitter has pledged to hire around 100 moderators after explicit deepfaked photos of Taylor Swift were viewed millions of times online.

Nights technology correspondent and senior consultant at think tank Brainbox Allyn Robins speaks to Emile Donovan about the pitfalls of AI and how this could just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of deepfakes.

Emile Donovan

21 Dec 2023

BusinessDesk

How to navigate the era of unreal images

For many, it all began with the pope’s puffer jacket.

Maybe for you, it was a digitally enhanced Tom Cruise impersonator, or the recent study that showed that some artificial intelligence-generated faces could look more "realistic" than real ones, or the sophisticated deepfake doppelganger of Zuru boss Nick Mowbray that nearly fooled the company’s chief financial officer.

Whatever the catalyst, more and more people are coming to the same conclusion: seeing is no longer believing.

Allyn Robins

22 Nov 2023

Asia New Zealand Foundation

Opinion: Global issues require global responses

In this article, Brainbox Institute director Tom Barraclough reflects on his key takeaways from attending the ASEAN Australia New Zealand (AANZ) Roundtable in Kuala Lumpur.

Tom Barraclough

7 Nov 2023

RNZ

It's time to admit 'we're in an AI bubble'

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the technology story of 2023. The chief executive of Google says its impact will be "more profound" than "fire or electricity". McKinsey happily reports that 'Generative' AI alone could "add trillions of dollars of value to the global economy", while a coalition of industry luminaries sign a statement arguing that "mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority". Amazon has just invested billions of dollars into an AI company that it hopes can help it rival Microsoft's investment in OpenAI. AI is passing the bar, tutoring schoolchildren, and producing viral videos.

In the face of all of this burgeoning wave of hype and investment, I say - enjoy it while it lasts. Because it won't.

Allyn Robins

11 Oct 2023

BusinessDesk

Business of Tech podcast: are algorithms really ruining democracy?

With the 2023 general election just days away, we have one last episode around tech and politics, this time looking at the fear that concerted and bad-faith social media campaigns are eroding the very fabric of democracy.

We're joined by Ximena Smith from the public interest think tank Brainbox Institute, who digs into whether the outcome of democratic elections is really being swung by social media and all its algorithms.

Peter Griffin

5 Oct 2023

The Spinoff

AI is too important to ignore this election

Artificial intelligence has been relegated to the too-hard basket this election. Allyn Robins from The Brainbox Institute argues that’s a big mistake.

Allyn Robins

18 Sept 2023

InternetLab

In the second interview of the series, Tom Barraclough talks about auditing mechanisms for platforms

In an interview with InternetLab, the director of Brainbox spoke about independent audits and their relevance when applying new laws that seek to regulate digital platforms.

Francisco Brito Cruz, Iná Jost and Catharina Vilela

16 Aug 2023

RNZ

Growing government reliance on offshore cloud services has security experts worried

A China-linked hack of US government cloud email accounts is raising questions about the New Zealand government's growing reliance on American data firms.

Phil Pennington

1 Aug 2023

Stuff

Too hot July, WeChat and Musk, promo madness, Loch Ness monster

Could X or Twitter turn into WeChat and is that a good thing?

Newsable

4 Jul 2023

RNZ

Concerns at Westfield digital ads that film and target shoppers

It is a familiar story – you walk into the mall to buy one thing and you walk out with an armful of bags. It can be hard enough to ignore the bright lights and sale signs... Now, it seems AI is giving us a wink and a nudge. Westfield is under fire from advocacy group Consumer for using digital billboards that film largely oblivious shoppers, and serve up advertisements based on age, gender, and even mood.

Lisa Owen

6 Jun 2023

Stuff

Tackling harmful content never going to be a simple discussion

Internal Affairs’ ambitious plan to regulate large social media and online platforms and to change the way the media, film, advertising, steaming television, video game and broadcasting industries are policed has quickly run into some pretty heavy traffic.

Tom Pullar-Strecker

3 Jun 2023

Stuff

Why tech is both fantastic and scary

There’s a lot going on in the world of tech, stuff is moving fast… and the thing is, there’s a lot of snake oil out there too.

So, we asked Allyn Robins from tech policy think tank Brainbox to identify three burgeoning areas of technology that he’s excited about, and three that he’s a bit scared of… but, naturally, he didn’t follow instructions...

Emile Donovan

3 Jun 2023

RNZ

Tom Barraclough: are your social media threads under threat?

This week the government released a Safer Online Services and Media Platforms 'discussion document' proposing to regulate online content the same way other media is regulated. Its set off alarm bells for everyone from Stuff head Sinead Boucher to the Free Speech Union, yet has been welcomed by others as a big step towards making the internet a safer place.

The proposal doesn't look to expand the categories of illegal content, says Tom Barraclough, and takes its lead from the European Union's recently implemented Digital Services Act.

Colin Peacock

16 May 2023

RNZ

Development of AI fakes speeding up

Artificial Intelligence is developing at such speed it can now fake just about anyone from the digital breadcrumbs we leave behind us. New Zealand tech players have been discussing how much choice you get in the matter. Phil Pennington reports.

Phil Pennington

3 May 2023

Newshub

Why 'Godfather' of artificial intelligence had to 'blow the whistle' on technology

Geoffrey Hinton, also known as the "Godfather of AI," decided he had to "blow the whistle" on the technology he helped develop after worrying about how smart it was becoming, he told CNN on Tuesday.

Nick Truebridge

3 May 2023

Stuff

Bluesky: Pretender to Twitter's throne, or the future of social media?

If there’s one thing we can all probably agree on, it’s that the world doesn’t really need another big social media platform to emerge right now. So, naturally, that’s exactly what we’re getting.

Emile Donovan

29 Mar 2023

Newsroom

AI chatbots are merely a cool toy – for now

Large Language Models such as GPT-4 can do grunt work, but they lack judgment and originality. Creativity, discernment, research skills, and high-level thinking are only going to get more important, and more valuable.

Allyn Robins

29 Mar 2023

Newshub

Govt says it's monitoring artificial intelligence's implications as hundreds of tech leaders call to pause its development

Some of the biggest names in technology have pushed the alarm button over the rise of artificial intelligence. They say it could pose a "profound risk to society and humanity".

Lauren Hendricksen

27 Mar 2023

Newshub

Should you delete TikTok?

One-and-a-half million kiwis have the video-sharing app on their phone. If you don't, there's a very good chance your child does. But with world governments racing to ban Tiktok - should you do the same in your home?

The Project

22 Mar 2023

Newshub

New AI chatbot GPT4 takes world by storm, even more powerful than predecessor

Brainbox Senior Consultant, Allyn Robins, told Newshub that it's "hard to overstate the impact this will have. It's going to touch every area of the economy."

Finn Hogan

9 Mar 2023

Stuff

Newsable today: Can AI replace us? TikTok's wooden spoons trend, and Fun Fact Friday

Could AI host a podcast? Spoiler alert – no.

Emile Donovan

1 Mar 2023

Newshub

Why the White House wants TikTok deleted from federal devices within next 30 days

The White House on Monday gave government agencies 30 days to ensure they do not have Chinese-owned app TikTok on federal devices and systems.

Ashleigh Yates

17 Feb 2023

Newsroom

Radio silence on Govt plan to regulate Big Tech

Government plans to subject tech companies like Facebook and Google to the same content regulations as news media and advertisers may have been put on hold, Marc Daalder reports

Marc Daalder

25 Nov 2022

Newsroom

Govt weighs up police access to encrypted data

A cross-agency group will examine the relative risks and benefits of end-to-end encryption and advise ministers on whether to regulate the technology.

Marc Daalder

22 Nov 2022

Careers with STEM

Meet the ethical entrepreneurs mixing law and tech

Meet two Uni of Ontago law grads who launched a new business to help government and industry navigate legal, ethical and political questions around new tech

Gemma Chilton

29 Oct 2022

Newshub

Experts concerned over the rise of deepfake technology

Experts are calling for more protection for New Zealanders from the harms of deepfakes and other synthetic media. Deepfakes, artificially generated mimicries of real people, have been prominent online since 2018.

Finn Hogan

1 Sept 2022

Lawfare

Platforms Are Testing Self-Regulation in New Zealand. It Needs a Lot of Work.

On July 25, New Zealand adopted a new industry-led mechanism designed to provide guidance for social media platforms to enhance safety and mitigate online harm: the Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Practice for Online Safety and Harms.

Curtis Barnes, Tom Barraclough, Allyn Robins

19 Aug 2022

Critic

AI Can See You Naked

Christchurch has produced many good things over the years. It has also produced Michael James Pratt, a fugitive sex trafficker on the FBI’s most wanted list with a $70,000 bounty on his head.

Fox Meyer

18 Aug 2022

Newsroom

Govt harbours concerns over Netsafe’s online code

The Government privately shares concerns that a new code of practice for online safety is actually an effort by tech companies to deflect regulation, Marc Daalder reports

Marc Daalder

29 Jul 2022

Stuff

Law loopholes around 'deepfakes' a threat to justice, police and law experts warn

Ambiguous gaps remain in legislation against the use of harmful deepfake technology, as police, legal and tech experts predict widespread implications for the justice system.

Sophie Cornish

24 Jul 2022

Stuff

Social media giants agree to 'first of its kind' code of conduct in Aotearoa

Social media giants including TikTok and Meta will soon become more accountable for the content on their platforms in New Zealand, voluntarily signing up to a code of conduct led by Netsafe, which targets issues such as hate speech and misinformation.

Sophie Cornish

14 Mar 2022

Newsroom

Media law review raises thorny freedom of expression issues

New Zealand has been trying to update its media laws for the modern digital environment for over a decade. Experts warn there are no simple solutions, so has the Government now bitten off more than it can chew?

Ximena Smith

30 Jan 2022

Newshub

Artists, music listeners ditching Spotify over vaccine disinformation

Canadian folk singer Joni Mitchell has joined her compatriot Neil Young in pulling her catalogue from streaming service Spotify.

Giles Dexter

26 Jan 2022

RNZ

ACC goes back to drawing board over failed $1.4m navigation service

A new $1.4 million service designed to help people understand ACC's systems and disputes process has failed to achieve many of its objectives, forcing the agency back to the drawing board.

Anusha Bradley

20 Jan 2022

Capital Monitor

Engaging with Facebook and Twitter is “like talking to kids”

When investors try to flag concerns to Facebook and Twitter about social media-related issues, the two tech giants often respond with stonewalling and obstruction. Google appears little better. Here we set out why.

Paul Hodgson

16 Dec 2021

NZ Herald

Do we need to panic over the 'Jacinda Ardern' deepfake clip?

A viral video that manipulated footage of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to make it look like she was smoking crack has reanimated debate over "deepfake" technology.

Chris Keall

17 Nov 2021

Futurefive

The deepfake dilemma: How it affects privacy, security & law in Aotearoa

On a YouTube channel called Genuine Fake, a video shows Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as the character of Maleficent. Her husband Clarke Gayford then appears shortly afterwards. Even National Party leader Judith Collins looks a bit like a forest fairy princess.

Sara Barker

19 Oct 2021

Stuff

NZ Super Fund ends campaign to reform Facebook, Alphabet and Twitter in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack

The NZ Super Fund is wrapping up its campaign to get Facebook​, Alphabet (Google)​ and Twitter ​to prevent violent and objectionable content being broadcast on their social media platforms.

Rob Stock

30 Sept 2021

Stuff

Calls for 'transformative' disability law change to make Aotearoa accessible

A WorkSafe-type body should be set up so disabled people can identify and remove access barriers, a new report says.

Josephine Franks

29 Sept 2021

Scoop

Access Alliance Calls For Life Changing Accessibility Legislation To Remove And Prevent Barriers

Access Alliance, New Zealand’s largest alliance of Disabled Persons Organisations, disability advocacy groups, and service providers, calls on the government to implement the legal framework outlined in the report released today,

Access Alliance

9 Sept 2021

RNZ

Covid-19 pandemic driving a 'downgrading of social discourse', researcher says

The Delta outbreak has unleashed a greater willingness to use derogatory and offensive slurs as part of public discourse, according to a University of Auckland research fellow.

29 Jun 2021

Scoop

Half Of NZ Has At Least One Misinformed Belief – Expert Reaction

A survey from the Classification Office offers a glimpse at how pervasive misinformation is in New Zealand, and how it’s affecting our beliefs.

Science Media Centre

7 May 2021

Stuff

Letter from the editor: Trying to instil trust in the news

There’s an old trope about journalists jostling with used car salesmen and real estate agents for last place in most-trusted rankings. In some cases – when tabloid hacks rifle through rubbish bins or voicemail baskets, or paparazzi hound people in the streets – this has been deserved.

Anna Fifield

14 Dec 2020

RNZ

Bringing the justice system into the 21st century

A legal researcher at the intersection of law, policy and technology has developed a tool to access legal information digitally.

Nine To Noon

23 Sept 2020

Newsroom

NZ ‘underprepared’ for election interference

With the US election fast-approaching there’s a lot of chatter about foreign operations aimed at influencing the elections. Laura Walters asks experts why we’re not having the same discussion in New Zealand

Laura Walters

18 Aug 2020

Stuff

Those who shared Covid-19 rumour could be liable to the Harmful Digital Communications Act, Netsafe says

The man believed to be behind the recent Covid-19 outbreak rumour said he’s willing to accept the consequences of his actions, describing them as “the worst things I’ve ever done”.

Katie Kenny

17 Aug 2020

Newsroom

‘Infodemic’ evolves as Covid-19 returns to NZ

Analysis: The return of Covid-19 to New Zealand has been accompanied by conspiracy theories about the virus and the Government's response. How big a problem is this and what can - or should - we do about it? Marc Daalder reports

Marc Daalder

17 Aug 2020

NZ Herald

Coronavirus Covid-19: Why 'that' Facebook post spread like wildfire

"Seen this?" Those were probably two words that countless Kiwis read over the weekend, when a friend or family member forwarded them a bogus, hyper-viral and now notorious Facebook post.

Jamie Morton

27 Jul 2020

Newsroom

Deep fakes and synthetic media

Deep fakes, synthetic media - the latest and most advanced techniques to spread disinformation and deception.

Emile Donovan

26 Jul 2020

RNZ

The deep fake threat

If you watch television, you may have come across an advertisement for Spark which shows Lord Ernest Rutherford sitting in an armchair, pontificating over the remarkable rate of human technological progress.

The Detail

23 Jul 2020

Stuff

The Government wants to filter the internet. Is that a good idea?

The Government plans to filter out the worst excesses of the internet. Experts think it will have almost no impact, other than introducing a series of grave risks. National Correspondent Katie Kenny reports.

Katie Kenny

22 Jun 2020

Newsroom

Government still pursuing CovidCard

After a trial in Nelson Hospital in May, the CovidCard proposal is still in the running as a government-sponsored contact tracing tool, Marc Daalder reports

Marc Daalder

22 Jun 2020

Newsroom

Ardern: ‘Enthusiasm’ about exploring CovidCard

Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that there was 'enthusiasm' for the Government to continue looking into the CovidCard proposal, Marc Daalder reports

Marc Daalder

29 Apr 2020

The Spinoff

Covid-19: The tough questions on a digital contact-tracing app

It’s a crucial factor in keeping the spread of the virus under control, but there’s a whole lot more the government needs to consider than what is technically possible, writes Andrew Chen.

Andrew Chen

17 Apr 2020

Newsroom

NZ considering $100m contact tracing ‘CovidCard’

The Government is considering handing out a Bluetooth-enabled CovidCard to every New Zealander to aid with contact tracing efforts, Marc Daalder reports

Marc Daalder

5 Apr 2020

RNZ

Covid-19: Major IT groups not consulted over race to speed up contact tracing

The country's three major IT groups have been left out of the loop by the government in the race to speed up critical contact tracing of virus carriers.

Phil Pennington

3 Apr 2020

Newsroom

Can tech solve the next big Covid-19 challenge?

Contact tracing is a crucial part of the Covid-19 puzzle and technology might prove essential to scaling up New Zealand's tracing capacity, Marc Daalder reports

Marc Daalder

1 Apr 2020

NZ Herald

Coronavirus Covid-19: Can smartphones help NZ stop spread?

One of the best weapons we have to throw against Covid-19 may be found in our pockets.

Jamie Morton

9 Dec 2019

Newshub

Snapchat unleashes deepfakes feature called 'Cameo'

Deepfakes - putting a person's face on another person's body in a video - are about to go mainstream. So far best-known for internet pranksters putting celebrity heads on pornstars' bodies, the controversial technology is currently being tested by messaging app Snapchat.

Dan Satherley

29 Nov 2019

The Guardian

Saving the Whanganui: can personhood rescue a river?

Adam Daniel wades waist deep through the glassy water. Pumice stones spiral in the shallow eddy, while the shrill whistles of a male whio (blue duck) echo upstream through the green canyon walls.

Jeremy Lurgio

4 Sept 2019

Stuff

Can Kiwis tell fact from fake news in the leadup to the 2020 elections?

Young people are criticised for not engaging in politics but experts say adults today are less likely to be able to tell fact from fake news. Katie Kenny and Tommy Livingston report on the risks of a post-truth political landscape.

Katie Kenny, Tommy Livingston

2 Jul 2019

NZ Herald

NZ expert sounds warning after DeepNude app goes viral

The latest in "deep fake" technology is DeepNude - an app that uses AI to transform an image of a clothed woman into a realistic rendering of what she might look like naked.

Chris Keall

11 Jun 2019

Stuff

Has an elf or alien been caught on film or is this just another hoax?

Proof of alien life, a prank or a digitally altered hoax? Brittney Deguara takes a look at a viral clip and the dangers of deep fakes.

An alien? An elf?! What is that thing in the driveway?

Brittney Deguara

8 Jun 2019

Otago Daily Times

Talking tech, cheese rolls and scones

Computers and government have been a major issue this past fortnight with the fallout from National accessing Budget data still proving dangerously radioactive to a range of politicians and civil servants.

Mike Houlahan

21 May 2019

Newsroom

Don’t believe everything you see, or hear

Synthetic media and "deepfakes" pose a new threat to democratic processes, if used in the wrong way, write Brainbox Institute co-directors Curtis Barnes and Tom Barraclough.

Curtis Barnes, Tom Barraclough

21 May 2019

Stuff

Deepfakes and synthetic media: The new age of disinformation is growing

Amidst the threats identified in a new report of the digital threats to democracy are two challenges with sinister sounding names - deepfakes and synthetic media. But what are these emerging risks and why should we care about them?

Michael Daly

20 May 2019

Newshub

'Deepfake' videos could be next social media minefield - researchers

There's growing concern about the damage sophisticated fake videos can have on the public.

A new Law Foundation report says deepfake media could prove troublesome to tech companies and the Government, following the Christchurch Call.

Katie Fitzgerald

20 May 2019

NZ Herald

NZ study highlights the risk of 'deep fakes' on social media - and why our lawmakers should leave it alone

A new study funded by the Law Foundation highlights the risk of "deep fakes" on social media - which co-author Tom Barraclough says "make it look or sound like something happened when it didn't".

Chris Keall

20 May 2019

RNZ

Deepfakes, synthetic media a threat to democracy

Thanks to Donald Trump the phrase "fake news" is, for better or worse, forever embedded in our collective consciousness. But fake news - false information which is spread deliberately to deceive people - is just the tip of the iceberg threatening our democracy.

Morning Report

9 Nov 2018

Stuff

Could the Acosta video be the start of a worrying trend?

OPINION: At the first White House press conference following the midterm election, there was a verbal altercation between the President Donald Trump and CNN reporter Jim Acosta.

Curtis Barnes, Tom Barraclough

16 Nov 2015

Otago Daily Times

Researchers of access to ACC given $150,000

A $150,000 grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation will help Dunedin researchers find practical ways for injured New Zealanders to have their human rights upheld in seeking justice over ACC cases.

John Gibb

28 Aug 2015

Otago Daily Times

Successful but hearing 'stressful'

Dunedin ACC claimant Dr Denise Powell found the experience of representing herself at an ACC review hearing ''stressful'' but was successful in her claim.

John Gibb

23 Jul 2015

Community.Scoop

Research finds overwhelming barriers to access to justice

Research carried out by a team of researchers in partnership with Acclaim Otago (Inc) has found serious barriers to access to justice for people challenging ACC decisions through the court system.

Acclaim Otago

27 Feb 2015

Otago Daily Times

Research grant thrills campaigner

ACC campaigner Denise Powell is ''over the moon'' about a New Zealand Law Foundation research grant of up to $38,000 to ACC claimant support organisation Acclaim Otago.

John Gibb

19 Sept 2014

Scoop

UN Experience Beneficial

Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland.

Acclaim Otago

In the Media

bottom of page