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Thailand Spurring Digital Inclusion and Growth

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Mr Teerawut Thongphak, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, is spearheading the transformation of community ICT learning centres into community digital centres. This initiative aims to enhance digital literacy and access to technology across Thailand.

Image credits: onde.go.th

Assisted by Mr Pinij Kalyanamaneekorn, Deputy Director of the National Statistical Office, and Miss Rattana Charoon Saksit, Director of the Digital Movement for Society Division at the Office of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission (NCDC), the project involves collaboration with provincial statisticians, agency executives, school directors, and administrators of the Community Digital Centre.

ICT learning centres are being upgraded to community digital centres to provide more comprehensive digital literacy training and access to technology. This transformation is crucial for bridging the digital divide and empowering communities to thrive in the digital age. The involvement of key stakeholders, including provincial statisticians and agency executives, underscores the commitment to making digital technology accessible to all levels of society. Through this initiative, Thailand is taking significant strides towards building a digitally inclusive society.

Thailand has made significant progress in accelerating its digital transformation. The Thai government has implemented initiatives to promote digital transformation, such as Thailand 4.0, which aims to transform the country into a digital economy driven by innovation, technology, and creativity.

OpenGov Asia reported that the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, has championed the “New Growth Engine of Thailand” policy, which comprises three core components: upgrading digital capabilities, enhancing digital security, and developing the digital workforce. The Ministry recognises the pivotal role of artificial intelligence (AI) in bridging societal inequalities. Specifically, the development of Generative AI by leading global companies is poised to enhance work skills and livelihoods, fostering effective coexistence between humans and AI, often called Co-pilots. For instance, Co-pilots can assist in writing and summarising articles, analysing crucial information for decision-making, and creating desired images or videos.

Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong emphasised the transformative potential of digital technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics in addressing key societal challenges and fostering sustainable development. He elaborated on how these technologies can be leveraged to improve public services, healthcare, education, and environmental sustainability, ultimately enhancing the overall well-being of Thai citizens.

Integrating AI with human endeavours necessitates developing mechanisms to reduce societal inequalities and prevent AI from exacerbating existing disparities. Under the AI Agenda flagship in 2024, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society has outlined a comprehensive plan to achieve this, including establishing rules and standards to regulate AI usage.

Another stride that Thailand has taken is to elevate economic growth through the entertainment sector. through the “Thai Gaming Industry on the Global Stage”. This programme aims to enhance the skill set of the populace in game development and stimulate innovation among game developers. Mr Prasert highlighted that the gaming industry is a pivotal segment of the Thai digital content industry. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society recognises the importance of supporting and promoting the gaming industry.

These efforts by Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society reflect a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to digital transformation. By enhancing digital literacy, integrating advanced technologies like AI and IoT, and promoting innovative industries such as gaming, Thailand is laying a strong foundation for a digitally inclusive and economically robust future. The collaborative efforts of government officials, educational institutions, and industry stakeholders are crucial in achieving these goals and ensuring that the benefits of digital technology are accessible to all segments of Thai society.

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