New opportunities... Emerging technologies expert Ben Reid will speak the Gore District Memorial RSA on Monday PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Agricultural robotics, artificial intelligence and so-called “smart” money are just some of the topics to be touched on in a public talk next week.

Emerging technologies adviser Ben Reid will speak at the Gore District Memorial RSA on Monday from 12 noon.

The talk will be one of several the Christchurch man will give in Southland as part of nationwide Techweek events.

People did not need to be experts in order to gain something from his talk, Mr Reid said.

“It’s .. just giving a general overview of some of the new technologies that are coming onstream at the moment and opportunities for New Zealand’s economy, and government and society.

“It’s open to the general public, and there’ll hopefully be some chance for some interactive Q and A as well.”

There was a range of new technology in different stages of development around the world, he said.

“Robotics is something I think there’s huge opportunity for.”

Agricultural robotics was especially relevant to New Zealand.

“It’s a pretty hot topic at the moment with the shortage of seasonal workers.

“Really, businesses are going to be forced to invest in knowledge industries, in this case in agriculture and robotics, to do the dangerous and dirty jobs people don’t want to do.”

Digital “smart money”currencies were another area he thought had great potential.

“I’m really interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space .. In many ways innovation in money stopped decades ago.”

He hoped people would enjoy the talk.

“I’m really looking forward to spending a bit of time and getting to meet people in Gore.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing their stories about what they’re doing with new technologies.”

Technology was a field with skill shortages and plenty of opportunity, he said.

“It’s our third-largest export sector, now growing at an incredible rate.”