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About Us

Launched in April 2021, the Artificial Intelligence Institute is hosted by the Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Science at the University of Waikato. It aims to support greater connection and knowledge-sharing between tertiary and wider research organisations and industry to support the development of a vibrant AI ecosystem in New Zealand.  The Institute has a special focus on real-time analytics for big data, machine learning and deep learning.

The establishment of the Institute is the culmination of many years of leading AI research and teaching led by staff at the University of Waikato, including the development of some of most popular open source tools in the world  (WEKA, MOA, and ADAMS) which have been downloaded more than 10 million times.  Our researchers have also published books which are used by may universities across the world to support in their teaching.

Inspired by their experience at Waikato, many Waikato graduates have gone on to achieve amazing things including Dr Shane Legg, the co-founder of Google DeepMind and Dr Craig Nevill-Manning who founded Google’s first remote engineering center located in New York

Our Strategic Priorities

Our People

Leadership

Albert Bifet

Albert Bifet

Director

Albert previously worked at Huawei Noah's Ark Lab in Hong Kong, Yahoo Labs in Barcelona, and UPC BarcelonaTech. He is the co-author of a book on Machine Learning from Data Streams published at MIT Press. He is one of the leaders of MOA, scikit-multiflow and Apache SAMOA for implementing algorithms and running experiments for online learning from evolving data streams. He was serving as Co-Chair of the Industrial track of IEEE MDM 2016, ECML PKDD 2015, and as Co-Chair of KDD BigMine (2019-2012), and ACM SAC Data Streams Track (2021-2012).

Te Taka Keegan

Te Taka Keegan

Co-Director Māori

Te Taka has worked on a number of projects involving the Māori language and technology including the Māori Niupepa Collection, Te Kete Ipurangi, the Microsoft keyboard, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office in Māori, Moodle in Māori, Google Web Search in Māori, and the Māori macroniser. In 2009 Te Taka spent 6 months with Google in Mountain View as a visiting scientist assisting with the Google Translator Toolkit for Māori. Further work with Google led to Translate in Māori. Te Taka’s general research interests include traditional navigation, Māori language technologies, indigenous language interfaces, and multi-lingual usability. His current research interests have focused on the use of Te reo Māori in a technological environment.

In 2013, Te Taka was awarded the University of Waikato's Māori/Indigenous Excellence Award for Research and in 2017 Te Taka was awarded the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Bernhard Pfahringer

Bernhard Pfahringer

Co-Director

Bernhard received his PhD degree from the University of Technology in Vienna, Austria, in 1995. He is a Professor with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Waikato. His interests span a range of data mining and machine learning sub-fields, with a focus on streaming, randomization, and complex data.

Eibe Frank

Eibe Frank

Co-Director

Eibe obtained a first degree in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, and a PhD in computer science from the University of Waikato. He has published extensively in the areas of machine learning and data mining and refereed for many conferences and journals in these areas.

Jointly with others, he has received a Service Award from the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining and two Test of Time Awards from the European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases.

Jannat Maqbool

Jannat Maqbool

Associate Director

Jannat is a CPA and former CIO with a Masters in Digital Business from the University of Waikato and a focus on leveraging technology in innovative ways to benefit individuals, organisations and communities. Jannat's initial career was in the financial services industry leading mid to large-scale technology adoption initiatives, following which she spent more than a decade in the vocational education sector teaching, and coordinating several collaborative projects and applied research initiatives involving students, staff and the wider community.

More recently Jannat has been involved with initiatives supporting digital inclusion and enablement including as Waikato tech sector lead at Te Waka: Waikato's Economic Development Agency and Smart Cities Advisor at Hamilton City Council. Jannat is also a Trustee at Web Access Waikato Trust, on the Executive Council at NZ IoT Alliance and TechWomen NZ, a board member at NZ Tech, and Director - NZ at Smart Cities Council ANZ.

Dennis Ramirez Flores

Dennis Ramirez Flores

Institute Manager

Dennis is the Artificial Intelligence Institute Manager, her role is to ensure the successful delivery of projects such as TAIAO and the EU Initiative: Real-Time Analytics of Big Data. She obtained a Masters in Management Information Systems and a Masters in Social and Solidarity Economy. Previous to arriving at the University of Waikato she worked on several projects at the international level as an SAP Consultant.

Members, Associate Members and Associated Groups