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The future and adoption strategies of AI in Thailand

A recent report noted that the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in Thailand is expected to scale up in 2019. This will have a greater impact on business and society as a result of machine learning, predictive ability and automation.

However, the country requires an AI strategy to prepare its incoming workforce. It also needs to build a sustainable “core engine” technology, according to the President of the Thailand Tech Startup Association.

It was noted that AI will affect business with the arrival of 5G infrastructure as more data is input and processed, bridging the online and offline worlds.

AI plays a bigger role as it helps boost productivity in business, improve cost management and create opportunities.

The challenge for Thailand will be that since most employees in the nation are low- or mid-level, a significant number will be replaced by automation, particularly in healthcare, banking and retail.

The Director of the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (Nectec) stated that the private sector has been increasing its investment in AI for a few years. He noted that firms collect data to determine users’ real experiences.

And, while AI does not solve every business problem, it is often the right tool for the job.

The Director advised businesses to start with a proof of concept, then use cloud-based infrastructure before fully embracing a large-scale roll-out, adding that in order to use AI practically, businesses need to have a core AI engine that enables them to differentiate from rivals.

The Managing Director of the Thai branch of multinational technology firm noted that Thailand should adopt an AI-first strategy, making it more accessible and affordable for sustainable growth.

AI and data intelligence play a crucial role in the digital transformation of organisations; it can leverage the use of data loops from engaged customers, optimise operations to reduce cost, stay ahead of rivals, empower employees and run product transformations, he said.

In 2018, some 20 Thai enterprises were early adopters of AI, in particular conglomerates, banks, telecom operators and retailers. All were driven by a need to differentiate their products and services.

Enterprises are investing to build AI teams while also adopting third-party AI technology to integrate with their products and services.

The banking sector plans to move to facial recognition for electronic know-your-customer regulations, as well as blockchain and machine learning for fraud detection.

The oil and gas industry uses AI for road safety to detect drivers’ dangerous behaviour, while the retail business uses it for loyalty programmes and e-commerce.

The firm predicts that mid-sized companies are the next wave of AI adopters, using the technology to integrate their businesses.

Moreover, a study predicts that 95% of jobs in Thailand will be transformed over the next three years. While 30% of jobs will be outsourced, automated or simply made obsolete, a roughly equal number of new roles created by shifts in the digital landscape will emerge to provide ample opportunities in the workforce.

The Vice President for Indochina expansion and managing director of the Thai branch of another multinational tech firm said that her company expects causal modelling to emerge as a central feature of the AI world this year.

Most AI methods are based fundamentally on correlations, without a deep understanding of causality. This means that they do not have the ability to make judgements, unlike humans.

Emerging causal inference methods enable data structures to efficiently select interventions to test putative causal relationships, and to make better decisions by leveraging knowledge of causal structure.

A number of organisations responded to recent data breaches and consumer privacy concerns by establishing ethics advisory boards.

In 2019, efforts to employ AI for social good are expected to become central to how companies build, train and deploy AI technologies, according to the firm.

It is expected that focus will be on transferring advanced research in trusted AI into real products and platforms, along with an emphasis on encouraging diversity and inclusion on technical teams to ensure many voices and perspectives guide technological progress.

Herein, quantum technology could give AI an assist. As the complexity of AI problems grows, quantum computing could potentially change how businesses approach AI computational tasks.

In 2019, there will be accelerated traction in quantum experimentation and research, and new research on how quantum computing can potentially play a role in training and running AI models.

Thus, AI in Thailand is expected to be adopted even more widely across the nation, creating new jobs and growing Thailand’s economy. And, OpenGov Asia will closely monitor and cover the subject.

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