AI Seminar Hosted by NZ Business Connect: A Transformative Networking Event Sponsored by iCLAW | Hamilton

A large turnout of Waikato business owners from diverse industries gathered for the NZ Business Connect event in Hamilton last week with the topic being artificial intelligence.

Sponsored by iCLAW and hosted at their premises in Hamilton, the seminar left business owners in no doubt that they need to at least be aware of artificial intelligence and the impact it can have on all aspects of life in the future.

The function’s guest speaker was Professor Albert Bifet, an expert in AI and data science from the University Of Waikato, and Owen Culliney Partner of iCLAW.  

left to right: Richard Briggs, iCLAW Chief Executive, Professor Albert Bifet, NZ Business Connect Founder Phillip Quay and iCLAW Partner Owen Culliney

Setting the Stage for AI Innovation

The seminar commenced  with an introduction by the MC for the evening, Richard Briggs, Chief Executive at iCLAW.

Phillip Quay, founder of NZ Business Connect, then took the stage to emphasise the seminar’s aim to bridge the gap between technological advancement and legal preparedness, setting the scene for an eye-opening forum.

Professor Albert Bifet: Understanding the Risks and Benefits of AI

Professor Albert Bifet, a globally recognised authority in artificial intelligence, delivered the first keynote address. He began by explaining the fundamentals of AI, discussing what AI is, how it functions, and the mechanics behind ChatGPT.

“There are many ways to talk about AI, but I’d really like to talk about data- driven intelligence. Basically, everything is based on data, so if we don’t have data, we don’t have intelligence,” Professor Bifet said.

Professor Bifet elaborated on how AI can improve efficiency, enhance products and encourage innovation. He highlighted the concept of a “virtual cycle” where better products attract more users, generating more data and leading to even better products. By presenting real-world examples. He demonstrated how businesses could leverage AI to enhance efficiency, make data-driven decisions and create innovative products and services.

Additionally, Professor Bifet addressed the ethical considerations of AI, stressing the need for transparency, fairness, and accountability in AI systems. He underlined the importance of developing AI technologies that are not only advanced but also ethically sound and beneficial to society as a whole.

Owen Culliney: Navigating the Legal Landscape

Following Professor Bifet’s inspiring presentation, Owen Culliney took the stage to provide a legal perspective on AI. Culliney’s presentation focused on the impact of AI on the legal profession and all businesses. He covered three main topics: how the legal industry has adapted to AI, the legal aspects of AI, and ownership of AI-generated material.

Mr Culliney emphasised the significant opportunities AI presents to the law profession, despite initial resistance to technological change. He discussed how iCLAW has implemented AI tools, with strict guidelines to protect client confidentiality. Regarding the ownership of AI-generated material, Culliney noted that New Zealand’s approach allows the person who inputs the prompt into the AI system to own the generated work. He acknowledged that this area of law is still evolving and will likely be tested and refined in the future.

Photo Credit: Maruchel Snyman, shootographyza

A Dynamic Q&A Session

The seminar concluded with a dynamic Q&A session, where attendees engaged directly with the speakers. Questions ranged from the practical implementation of AI in small businesses to the ethical dilemmas posed by autonomous systems. Both Professor Bifet and Mr Culliney provided insightful answers, offering practical advice and thoughtful perspectives.

Networking and Future Collaborations

As the event drew to a close, attendees mingled and networked, discussing potential collaborations and sharing their experiences. The seminar not only provided valuable knowledge but also fostered a sense of community among professionals passionate about AI and its implications.

Business Card Draw

The winner of the business card draw was IP Strategist, Kate Wilson. She won a ‘Meet Thy Neighbour’ $500 voucher to spend locally.


The NZ Business Connect AI Seminar, sponsored by iCLAW, was a resounding success. It equipped attendees with a deeper understanding of AI technologies and the legal frameworks necessary to navigate this rapidly evolving field. With keynote speeches from Professor Albert Bifet and Owen Culliney, the event underscored the critical interplay between technological innovation and legal compliance, paving the way for a future where businesses can harness the full potential of AI responsibly and ethically.

Contact NZ Business Connect

027 458 7724

Contact iCLAW | Hamilton

(07) 929 4300