Māori AI expert Dr Karaitiana Taiuru shares his favourite whakataukī

10:44 pm on 18 March 2024
Karaitiana Taiuru

Dr Karaitiana Taiuru. Photo: Supplied

Tino rangatiratanga: mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei.

It is the whakataukī (Māori proverb) that means most to Māori data, AI and technology ethicist Dr Karaitiana Taiuru (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Toa).

Translated to English, it means "the ability to create and control our destiny for generations to come".

It links in well with his work and family life, Taiuru told RNZ Nights.

For his work, it reminded Taiuru why he still does what he does - and that there was a new generation of children who will not know life without AI and it was "our role to create the new normal for them".

Taiuru applies a te ao Māori perspective to AI.

"We already know that internationally, there's bias against minority peoples so what I do, in conjunction with international best practices with artificial intelligence and other technologies, is bring that Māori voice and Te Tiriti o Waitangi considerations to play."

There were "a number" of cultural values that needed to be considered in terms of AI, he said.

Many Māori have moko (facial tattoos) so understanding how that was considered with facial technologies was a big factor.

In his personal life, the whakataukī applied to his whānau.

"For me, I consider that I have an opportunity to create wealth and opportunities for my children and also for my grandchildren.

"I live by that rule. I make that sure my children have the opportunities that I didn't always have, make sure they have access to education, financial resources, a home, and part of my planning in life is that my grandchildren will also have the same access and all going well in life, I should see my great grandchildren and maybe great-great grandchildren whom I will also ensure that they have equal access.

"And I know my children also that they consider the same sort of philosophies in life where they want to protect their whānau as well for the future."

Taiuru said the whakataukī came out of working groups around the South Island when Ngāi Tahu was trying to identify a new tribal vision that would be carried into the future. It came after settlements with the Crown in 1996.

"That whakataukī was the key whakataukī that came out of those hui."

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