February 21, 2024

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In Indonesia, the evolution of digital technology, social media platforms, and artificial intelligence (AI) has left a profound mark on the media landscape, reshaping the way news is produced, disseminated, and consumed. These technological advancements have empowered media organisations to enhance their capabilities in data gathering and analysis, facilitating the delivery of more precise and pertinent news content.

Moreover, the widespread adoption of social media platforms has provided a channel for direct interaction with audiences, enabling media outlets to receive immediate feedback, gather valuable insights, and broaden their coverage scope through online platforms.

Image credits: kominfo.go.id

The Minister of Communication and Information Technology Budi Arie Setiadi encouraged the national press industry to see opportunities in global digitalisation by developing innovations. He says innovation is the key to facing rapid changes in the press industry. With digital technology, social media, and artificial intelligence, the press can create more varied and engaging content for readers.

“At present, we can see how technology has changed the way we access and consume news. The press must be adaptive to these changes and continue to develop creative ideas to remain relevant in the digital era,” he said.

“In facing this disruption, I invite all of us not to be afraid; on the contrary, we must see the opportunities brought by digital technology,” he added.

According to Minister Budi Arie, the press industry should see disruption as an opportunity to innovate and develop new information delivery methods. By utilising digital technology, the press can create more interesting and relevant content for readers, thus enhancing its competitiveness in the market.

He also cited World Association of News Publishers data showing that global press industry revenue reached USD 130 billion in 2023. This results from a combination of reporting activities with digital technology, including the growth of digital newspaper circulation.

“The increase in revenue indicates that the press industry has great potential to grow and develop in this digital era. Therefore, we must continue to encourage innovation and collaboration among stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the press industry,” he added.

By knowing the potential revenue of the press industry due to the utilisation of digital technology, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is boosting the spirit of the press to be more innovative in facing technological disruptions. One effort that needs to be increased is the number of subscribers, as this can be a significant source of revenue for the press industry in this digital era.

Further, Deputy Minister Nezar Patria encouraged journalists to adapt more to technological developments. “Wherever technology is a human creation, humans should not be defeated by technology. We must adapt, control, minimise its risks and maximise its benefits,” said Deputy Minister Nezar Patria.

Further, Deputy Minister Nezar Patria also emphasised the importance of a holistic approach in facing technological disruptions. According to him, in addition to developing innovations in content and technology, the press industry also needs to strengthen its integrity, professionalism, and business sustainability.

“In facing the digital era, we should not only focus on technological aspects. We must also pay attention to other aspects such as integrity, professionalism, and business sustainability to ensure that the press industry remains relevant and competitive,” he explained.

Additionally, Deputy Minister Nezar Patria stated that artificial intelligence is currently capable of performing various tasks in the field of journalism. In fact, according to him, the presence of robot journalism or machines can carry out the process of collecting, producing, and distributing news independently. “We are familiar with the term robotic journalism, so all production work, up to the distribution of news, is done by these robotics,” he concluded.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has embarked on a pioneering journey with the introduction of the ‘Sangam: Digital Twin‘ initiative, poised to revolutionise infrastructure planning and design in India. This visionary undertaking invites expressions of interest from a diverse array of stakeholders, ranging from industry leaders and startups to academia and innovators.

Image adapted from: sangam.sancharsaathi.gov.in

Anchored in Digital Twin technology, Sangam represents a paradigm shift in infrastructure development, harnessing the power of virtual replicas to optimise planning processes and drive transformative outcomes.

At its core, Sangam: Digital Twin represents a convergence of technology, collaboration, and innovation, aimed at reshaping the infrastructure landscape in India. The initiative is structured in two distinct stages, each designed to unlock creative potential and pave the way for practical implementation.

The exploratory phase sets the stage for visionary thinking and ideation, while the subsequent demonstration phase focuses on tangible use cases, laying the groundwork for scalable solutions.

Sangam draws upon a rich tapestry of technological advancements, spanning 5G, IoT, AI, AR/VR, AI native 6G, Digital Twin, and next-gen computational technologies. This comprehensive suite of tools empowers stakeholders to navigate complexities and uncertainties with precision, leveraging real-time data and simulations to inform decision-making and drive innovation. By integrating cutting-edge technologies, Sangam establishes a solid foundation for future-ready infrastructure planning and design.

At its essence, Sangam embodies a spirit of collaboration and inclusivity, transcending traditional boundaries to engage stakeholders across sectors. Public entities, infrastructure planners, tech titans, startups, and academic institutions converge on a unified platform, pooling their collective intelligence to tackle shared challenges and seize emerging opportunities. This holistic approach not only fosters innovation but also nurtures a culture of knowledge-sharing and cross-pollination, propelling the nation towards sustainable development.

Beyond theoretical frameworks, Sangam prioritises practical implementation and scalability, with a keen eye on delivering tangible outcomes. Through targeted use cases and pilot projects, stakeholders gain valuable insights into the application of Digital Twin technology across diverse domains, from transportation and urban planning to healthcare and education.

By developing scalable models and best practices, Sangam sets the stage for widespread adoption, catalysing a ripple effect of innovation across the infrastructure ecosystem.

As Sangam gains momentum, it presents a myriad of opportunities for stakeholders to actively participate in shaping the future of infrastructure in India. Pre-registration and engagement with Sangam’s outreach programs offer avenues for collaboration, networking, and knowledge exchange, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship. However, realising the full potential of Sangam requires concerted efforts to address challenges such as data privacy, interoperability, and regulatory frameworks, ensuring that innovation is balanced with accountability and ethical considerations.

The unveiling of the ‘Sangam: Digital Twin’ initiative marks a transformative moment in India’s journey towards sustainable development and technological leadership. By harnessing the power of Digital Twin technology and fostering collaboration across sectors, Sangam paves the way for a future where infrastructure is not only efficient and resilient but also inclusive and equitable. As stakeholders unite behind the shared vision of Sangam, they embark on a collective endeavour to shape a brighter, more prosperous future for generations to come.

Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE) has announced a plan for 2024, designed to propel the nation’s digital transformation and elevate its competitive edge on the international platform. Spearheaded by Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of DE, a comprehensive strategy targets seven pivotal domains. These include fostering innovation, enhancing public services, and stimulating economic expansion through the strategic implementation of digital technologies.

Image credits: mdes.go.th

One of the key initiatives is the Cloud First Policy, which envisions positioning Thailand as the premier Cloud Hub of the region. The policy advocates for the widespread adoption of cloud systems to revamp digital infrastructure, elevate the quality of government services, and facilitate the utilisation of Big Data. This strategic move is anticipated to significantly enhance the efficiency of public services while concurrently generating substantial cost savings, potentially slashing the country’s computing infrastructure expenses by as much as 50%.

Another major focus area is the AI Agenda, which aims to develop Thailand’s AI infrastructure. This includes the development of the National AI Service Platform and the Thai Large Language Model (Thai LLM). These initiatives will not only enhance the country’s AI capabilities but also promote ethics, governance, and regulation in AI.

The development of the Thai Large Language Model (Thai LLM) is a significant step towards enhancing Thailand’s natural language processing capabilities. Large language models, like the Thai LLM, can process and generate human language, enabling a wide range of applications such as machine translation, text summarisation, and chatbots in the Thai language.

This can benefit various sectors, including education, healthcare, and customer service, by enabling more efficient and effective communication and information processing. Additionally, efforts will be made to upskill and reskill personnel in AI and promote the use of AI in both the public and private sectors.

The 1 District 1 IT Man initiative aims to accelerate digital adoption in regional areas by establishing IT centres in 878 districts and 2,222 community digital centres. This initiative will provide public internet access in 24,654 villages, improving the quality of life and connecting digital data at the district level. This initiative will not only improve access to digital services but also promote the use of digital technology in everyday life.

Another key focus area is the development of digital workforce and manpower. The government aims to develop infrastructure for digital workforce and manpower development, attract global digital talent through the Global Digital Talent Visa, and increase the digital workforce by 50,000 people. This initiative will not only help meet the growing demand for digital skills but also promote the use of digital technology in the workforce.

The Cell Broadcast initiative aims to implement a modern warning system nationwide to send specific warning messages to designated areas. This initiative will help reduce the loss of life and property during emergencies, demonstrating the potential of digital technology to save lives and improve safety.

The ministry also aims to address online threats through initiatives such as upgrading the AOC 1441 Centre to use AI for detecting and preventing online dangers, launching the Call Alert app to notify at-risk telephone numbers, and establishing the PDPC Eagle Eye Centre to prevent personal data leaks and address online shopping issues. These initiatives will not only improve cybersecurity but also promote trust in digital technology.

Thailand’s comprehensive plan for 2024 demonstrates the government’s commitment to accelerating digital transformation and enhancing its competitiveness in the global digital economy. By focusing on key areas such as cloud technology, AI, digital workforce and manpower, and cybersecurity, Thailand aims to unlock new opportunities for economic growth and improve the quality of life for its citizens through digital technology.

Thailand is laying the foundation for a more competitive digital economy. This could lead to significant improvements in efficiency, innovation, and overall quality of life for its citizens in the future.

As technology advances, privacy and surveillance concerns are becoming more pronounced. In a recent development, a retail company proposed using facial recognition technology in its North Island stores. They are adopting facial recognition technology to provide employees secure access to business premises, improve the customer experience, and check and monitor store stock popularity and layout performance.

However, the use of facial recognition technology in retail environments must be done responsibly, with a commitment to data responsibility principles based on security, privacy, transparency, control, accountability, and integrity to scan and create biometric templates of shoppers, checking them against a watchlist of individuals with a history of harmful behaviours. While this initiative aims to enhance security and deter theft, it has sparked a debate on the ethical implications of such technology.

Dr Kate Bower, an AI regulation specialist at the UTS Human Technology Institute in Australia, compared facial recognition technology with DNA data collection. Unlike standard CCTV cameras that capture video footage, facial recognition technology goes further by capturing biometric data, including various data points from a person’s face to create a unique face print. While this technology offers the ability to identify individuals in a crowd and match them to a database, it also raises significant privacy concerns due to its invasive nature and potential for misuse.

Bower highlighted the potential for wrongful identification, particularly among people of colour. Studies have shown that facial recognition technology is less accurate for individuals with darker skin tones, leading to a higher rate of false accusations. This raises concerns about racial bias and the risk of innocent people being wrongly identified and accused.

Māori data ethicist Dr Karaitiana Taiuru has also voiced concerns about the technology’s accuracy, particularly for Māori and Pacific people, who may be more likely to be falsely accused. He emphasised that it is not a matter of “if” but “when” the system mistakenly identifies an innocent person, leading to distressing situations.

Another concern is the storage of biometric information by private companies. Bower emphasised the importance of knowing where and how this information is stored and the ability to request the deletion of data. Questions also arise about the accessibility of this information to law enforcement agencies, both in New Zealand and overseas.

The issue of children’s data being stored is also troubling. Bower questioned the fairness of capturing and storing children’s biometric information and raised concerns about the long-term implications of such practices.

These concerns highlighted the need for public discussion and oversight of facial recognition technology. Bower urged the public to speak up before this technology becomes more widespread in public spaces. She emphasised the need to consider the implications for us and future generations who may be subjected to constant surveillance.

To address these issues, a retail company has engaged with the Privacy Commissioner and enlisted an independent assessor. The company has affirmed that it will promptly delete all customer images unless they are involved in criminal activities or exhibit aggression, violence, or threats toward employees or customers. Images of offenders will be retained for a maximum of two years, while those aiding offenders will be retained for up to three months. Nevertheless, concerns persist regarding the broader implications of this technology and the possibility of its misuse.

As facial recognition technology expands, it is essential to balance security needs with privacy rights. Public oversight and transparency are crucial to ensure these technologies are used responsibly and ethically. Regulations and guidelines will likely evolve to address concerns such as data protection, consent, and algorithm bias. Collaboration between governments, technology developers, and civil society will be vital to establishing these frameworks. Additionally, ongoing research and dialogue on the ethical implications of facial recognition technology will ensure its responsible use in various contexts.

Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), the technical arm of the Department of Telecommunications (DOT), Ministry of Communications, has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AMRITA UNIVERSITY, aiming to spearhead innovation in the realm of Trustworthy and Responsible Artificial Intelligence Systems.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

TEC, as the recognised Standards Setting Organisation (SSO) in the telecommunications and related ICT sector in India, plays a pivotal role in formulating standards for telecom and related ICT equipment, networks, systems, and services deployed across the Indian Telecom Network.

Responsible AI underscores the importance of unbiased and equitable AI/Machine Learning (ML) systems. In response, TEC has introduced a Standard for Fairness Assessment and Rating of Artificial Intelligence Systems.

Drawing from comprehensive stakeholder consultations and domain expert inputs, TEC introduced the New Standard (No. TEC 57050:2023) for “Fairness Assessment and Rating of Artificial Intelligence Systems” on July 7, 2023. This Standard delineates meticulous procedures for evaluating and rating the fairness of artificial intelligence systems.

Through collaboration with Amrita University, efforts are underway to create tools for systematic bias risk assessment and to establish a robust framework for certifying the fairness and reliability of AI technologies.

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, established under Section 3 of the UGC Act 1956, stands as a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary research university, rated among the top research universities in India.

The collaboration underscores a shared commitment to addressing biases in AI systems and advancing fairness assessments, aligning with the Government of India’s objectives and fostering public trust in these transformative technologies.

At the core of this collaboration lies the endeavour to develop tools for systematic bias risk assessment and establish a robust framework for certifying the fairness and reliability of AI technologies. This initiative gains further significance with the recent release of a Standard for Fairness Assessment and Rating of Artificial Intelligence Systems by TEC, following extensive stakeholder consultations.

Highlighting the transformative potential of this collaboration, Smt Tripti Saxena, Senior Deputy Director General at TEC, emphasised its capacity to drive groundbreaking solutions for fairness assessment and rating of AI systems. By bridging the gap between academia and government bodies, this MoU paves the way for rigorous research and reinforces India’s leadership in AI innovation.

Earlier, TEC forged a partnership with the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-Delhi), aimed at developing innovation in trustworthy and responsible artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

This collaboration, formalised through a memorandum of understanding (MoU), underscores the shared commitment of both entities to pioneer advancements in responsible AI. Highlighting the importance of addressing biases in AI systems and promoting fairness in assessments, the agreement seeks to enhance public trust and confidence in these transformative technologies, aligning with the strategic goals set forth by the government for the AI industry.

Given the increasing adoption of AI and machine learning (ML) across various sectors and their demonstrated efficacy in public service delivery and e-governance, ensuring equality and impartiality in AI systems has become imperative. Unintended biases in AI applications can lead to a myriad of ethical, social, and legal concerns, necessitating proactive measures to mitigate their impact.

Bias can infiltrate AI systems through various pathways and at different stages of the data and AI lifecycle, potentially influencing other components of AI. Algorithms trained on biased data are known to perpetuate disparities in outcomes, placing certain groups at a disadvantage.

Under this collaborative initiative, TEC and IIIT-Delhi will develop tools to systematically assess bias risks and establish a robust framework for evaluating and certifying the fairness and reliability of AI technologies.

Thailand is actively pursuing a digital transformation to enhance its digital economy and become a prominent player in the global digital landscape. The country has set targets, such as increasing its digital economy to 50% by 2030. This transformation is encapsulated in policies like “Thai 4.0” and “A National Digital Blueprint,” which focus on digital industrial-scale transformation and the development of the digital economy. Key initiatives include expanding the use of Digital ID, promoting e-government solutions and building high-capacity digital infrastructure.

Image credits: mdes.go.th

Although Thailand has advanced considerably in its digital evolution, obstacles such as insufficient private investment, inadequate digital infrastructure in specific regions, and the necessity to enhance ICT competencies persist. Nevertheless, Thailand’s endeavours in digital transformation underscore a committed dedication to utilising digital technology for economic prosperity and societal progression.

On this second month of the year, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society, spearheaded the Thai delegation alongside Special Professor Wisit Wisitsaratha, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, at the 4th ASEAN Digital Ministerial Meeting (ADGMIN) held in Singapore.

Under the theme “Building an Inclusive and Trusted Digital Ecosystem,” ministers from 10 ASEAN member countries convened to address pivotal issues in the digital landscape, fostering collaboration and digital transformation.

In highlighting Thailand’s commitment to digital advancement, Mr Prasert outlined the “The Growth Engine of Thailand” policy to propel the nation towards a robust digital economy and a secure digital society. The policy delineates three key areas of focus:

Enhancing Competitive Potential: Thailand aims to bolster its competitive edge by prioritising the development of digital infrastructure, facilitating digital government services, and advocating for adopting cloud technology in the public sector to ensure heightened security standards.

Ensuring Digital Safety and Security: Efforts are underway to accelerate the deployment of cybersecurity tools to combat online threats and cybercrimes. Public awareness campaigns will play a crucial role in mitigating risks associated with digital platforms.

Fostering Digital Literacy: Embracing the ethos of “Digital for All,” Thailand seeks to nurture digital skills and competencies among its populace, ensuring inclusivity and equitable participation in the digital economy.

Acknowledging the burgeoning significance of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Mr Prasert emphasised the need for comprehensive guidelines governing its ethical and regulatory framework. Thailand has taken measures by instituting the Thailand AI Ethics Guideline to ensure the responsible and effective utilisation of AI within its borders.

Moreover, Mr Prasert underscored the imperative of addressing online threats, citing them as grave national security concerns and transnational crimes. Thailand proposed the establishment of the ASEAN Working Group on Anti-Online Scam (WG-AS) to foster regional collaboration in combating online fraud—a pervasive global issue. Additionally, the formation of the AOC 1441 Centre signifies Thailand’s commitment to tackling online crime and minimising its impact on citizens.

In his closing remarks, Mr Prasert reiterated the importance of ASEAN unity in confronting digital challenges head-on. He emphasised the urgency of concerted efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of online threats on the ASEAN populace, underscoring the imperative for collective action.

Despite that, Thailand has taken several measures to confront cyberattacks in previous strides. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE) has demonstrated commitment and steadfast dedication to eradicating cyberattacks. Based on the OpenGov Asia report, the DE Ministry has consistently been at the forefront of the battle against cyber threats through strategic initiatives, comprehensive policies, and cutting-edge technological advancements.

Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DE), unveiled the commendable results of the Anti Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC) 1441. Operating between November 1 and December 2023, AOC 1441 successfully handled 183,016 citizen contacts, frozen 20,204 accounts, and apprehended more than 400 criminals. Notably, the average time to freeze an account plummeted to 9 minutes in December, showcasing the centre’s efficiency.

The Anti Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC) is a one-stop service centre that offers knowledge, advice, and assistance to the public regarding cybercrime and online scamming. The centre is a collaboration between various government agencies, including the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Anti-Money Laundering Office, the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau, the Bank of Thailand, the Thai Bankers Association, the Department of Special Investigation, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission.

The ADGMIN demonstrates Thailand’s dedication to utilising digital technology for the mutual advantage of ASEAN nations. Through collaboration and strategic measures, efforts are made to cultivate an all-encompassing, safe, and adaptable digital environment, driving sustainable digital progress throughout Thailand and the region.

Understanding how the brain combines previously acquired skills to tackle new challenges remains a complex puzzle in neuroscience. Nanyang Assistant Professor Hiroshi Makino, from NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, sheds light on this intriguing process through a study involving mice and theoretical analyses with artificial intelligence (AI) models. The research not only unveils the brain’s ability to compose new skills but also holds implications for enhancing AI models.

Mice were trained in behavioural experiments involving tasks requiring the manipulation of a joystick to move an object towards a destination. Successful completion of the task resulted in a water reward. Subsequently, the mice were trained to associate licking a waterspout with receiving water. The complexity increased when the mice were challenged with a combined task – using the joystick to move the waterspout to a specific location and then licking it to obtain their water reward.

Assistant Professor Makino delved into the neural activity of both mice and AI models. The focus was on understanding how the mice integrated their learned skills to accomplish the composite task. The findings revealed a mechanism where the brain combines representations of pre-learned action values from constituent subtasks. This insight into the brain’s learning process holds potential for improving our understanding of cognitive functions.

The study incorporated theoretical predictions from the field of deep reinforcement learning, where agents learn to solve composite tasks by combining representations of pre-learned action values from simpler subtasks. AI models provided a theoretical framework that helped in understanding the learning process observed in mice. The theoretical predictions were validated through empirical testing on the mice, showcasing a convergence between artificial and biological systems.

Assistant Professor Makino believes that this research not only enhances our understanding of how the brain learns but also has implications for improving AI models in the future. The ability to compose new skills from a pre-acquired repertoire is a crucial aspect of biological intelligence, and the study offers valuable insights into this fundamental cognitive process.

The study draws parallels between deep RL algorithms, which leverage policy entropy to express stochastic policies, and the initial high variability observed in behaviour during pretraining. This algorithmic convergence between artificial and biological systems prompts further exploration into the mechanisms that promote exploration for future learning.

This groundbreaking study not only unravels the mysteries of how the brain combines learned skills but also establishes a crucial connection between artificial intelligence models and biological systems. As we delve deeper into the brain’s ability to tackle new challenges through the integration of existing knowledge, the study opens avenues for future research in neuroscience and AI, with potential implications for advancements in both fields.

NTU Singapore, under the leadership of President Professor Ho Teck Hua, has unveiled a new initiative to address global opportunities and challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI). The university aims to boost AI education, research, and innovation, introducing new programmes such as the Bachelor of Science in AI and Society and the Turing AI Scholars Programme. These efforts align with Singapore’s national AI strategy and solidify NTU’s position as a leading global university.

Singapore is keenly focused on deploying Artificial Intelligence across various fields to enhance efficiency and drive innovation. Recognising the transformative potential of AI, the Singaporean government has been actively fostering an ecosystem conducive to the development and application of AI technologies.

Singapore proactively tackles safety and ethical concerns tied to AI technologies by investing in research and development to formulate guidelines and standards prioritising safety in AI deployment. This approach seeks to foster public trust in AI while minimising associated risks linked to its extensive adoption.

During the period from 2023 to 2024, the technological landscape continued to evolve rapidly, bringing forth significant advancements and transformations across various sectors. Thailand’s commitment to advancing its digital landscape took a stride as Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society, led the country’s delegation at the 4th ASEAN Digital Ministerial Meeting (ADGMIN) held in the Republic of Singapore.

Image credits: mdes.go.th

The meeting, held under the overarching theme of “Building an Inclusive and Trusted Digital Ecosystem,” brought together Digital Ministers from 10 ASEAN member countries, fostering collaboration and discussions on pivotal issues in the digital sphere. This meeting marks a significant milestone in the efforts to create a cohesive and forward-thinking digital landscape within the ASEAN community.

During the ADGMIN, Mr Prasert underscored Thailand’s strategic vision encapsulated in the policy initiative “The Growth Engine of Thailand.” This initiative aims to propel the nation towards a digital economy and a secure digital society, delineating three key developmental areas. Mr Prasert is optimistic about enhancing those strategies to elevate the digital standard in Thailand.

First, Thailand seeks to enhance its competitive potential by prioritising the development of digital infrastructure for seamless integration into the realm of digital governance. This involves elevating the standard of government digital services accessible to the public and advocating for the adoption of cloud technology within the government sector. The latter is particularly highlighted for its superior security standards compared to existing systems.

Second, Thailand is steadfast in boosting digital safety and security by expediting the creation of tools to combat cyber threats and online crime. The country also places a significant emphasis on public education to prevent potential dangers that may arise in the digital landscape. As the world grapples with the evolving landscape of technology, Thailand recognises the importance of addressing the ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence (AI).

In response to the rapid advancement of AI, Mr Prasert shared Thailand’s proactive stance in establishing guidelines for the regulation and ethics of AI technology, known as AI Governance and Ethics. The minister emphasised the importance of controlling the use of AI technology to ensure safety and efficiency in the country, citing the creation of the Thailand AI Ethics Guideline as a pivotal step in this direction.

“AI ethic is paramount. The ethical considerations surrounding AI have become a focal point as the technology continues to permeate various aspects of our lives,” added Mr Prasert.

Further, in highlighting the gravity of managing online dangers, Mr Prasert identified this as a pressing national security and transnational crime concern. Drawing attention to the ASEAN Working Group on Anti-Online Scam (WG-AS), proposed by Thailand, he stressed the need for collaborative efforts within the ASEAN region to prevent and combat online fraud, a global transnational crime issue. Additionally, he mentioned the establishment of the AOC 1441 Centre, which is tasked with addressing online crime problems and mitigating harm to the public.

Mr Prasert reiterated the urgency for ASEAN nations to work collectively and efficiently to address these challenges. He emphasised the need for integration to tackle online threats seriously, underscoring the importance of alleviating damage to people across the ASEAN region.

As Thailand takes strides toward becoming a digital powerhouse, its active participation in regional forums like the ADGMIN reflects its commitment to fostering collaboration, sharing expertise, and collectively addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by the digital era.

The three-pronged approach outlined by Mr Prasert demonstrates Thailand’s comprehensive strategy to not only enhance its digital capabilities but also to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. By addressing these three key areas simultaneously, Thailand aims to create a holistic and sustainable approach to digital advancement.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and its collaborating agencies have taken a step in advancing artificial intelligence (AI) research in the United States with the launch of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot. This initiative, developed in collaboration with 10 federal agencies and 25 private sector, nonprofit, and philanthropic organisations, aims to create a shared research infrastructure that democratises access to crucial resources essential for responsible AI discovery and innovation.

The NAIRR pilot seeks to provide U.S.-based researchers access to advanced resources, including computing power, datasets, models, software, training, and user support. By connecting these individuals with the necessary tools, the initiative aims to foster innovative AI research while contributing valuable insights to shape the design of the broader NAIRR ecosystem. This pilot serves as proof of concept, signalling the importance of investments required to realise the vision of a National AI Research Resourcefully.

NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan emphasised the urgency of developing a resource. He stated that the collaboration among various partners underscored the need for a National AI Research Resource to secure the future of AI in America.

The investment in AI research through the NAIRR pilot is envisioned to unleash discovery and impact, enhancing global competitiveness. Panchanathan emphasised the necessity to create opportunities across the country to advance AI innovation, strengthen educational avenues, and position the nation as a leader in shaping international standards.

The pilot aligns with President Biden’s commitment to advancing responsible AI, ensuring all Americans benefit from this transformative technology. Arati Prabhakar, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, saw the NAIRR pilot as a catalyst for achieving America’s aspirations, providing researchers with critical data and computing resources.

The collaborative nature of the NAIRR pilot, involving academia, industry, nonprofit, and government sectors, aimed to encourage cross-sector partnerships. Such collaborations can lead to developing of commercially viable AI applications and solutions, fostering economic growth by creating new markets and revenue streams.

Government partners involved in the NAIRR pilot include NSF, Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Defence (DOD), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The pilot’s initial focus is on supporting AI research that advances safety, security, and trustworthiness in AI and its application to healthcare, environmental sustainability, and infrastructure challenges. Additionally, the pilot aimed to provide infrastructure support for educators to enable training on AI technologies and their responsible approaches.

The operations of the NAIRR pilot will be organised into four key focus areas, namely, NAIRR Open, which enables open AI research through coordinated access to diverse AI resources; NAIRR Secure, co-led by NIH and DOE, focusing on privacy and security-preserving resources; NAIRR Software, facilitating interoperable use of AI software and tools; and NAIRR Classroom, reaching new communities through education, training, user support, and outreach.

The launch of the NAIRR pilot fulfils a goal outlined in Executive Order 14110, signed by President Joe Biden in October 2023, directing NSF to launch a pilot within 90 days. As the pilot advances the proof of concept, future investments in NAIRR are expected to democratise access to AI innovation and support critical work in promoting trustworthy AI development.

NSF announced that researchers can apply for initial access to NAIRR pilot resources through the NAIRR pilot portal. A broader call for proposals from the research community will be released in spring 2024, allowing researchers to apply for access to the full suite of NAIRR pilot resources contributed by partners.

The initiative also welcomes additional private sector and nonprofit partners, encouraging interested parties to contact NSF at nairr_pilot@nsf.gov. The NAIRR pilot represents a stride toward establishing a robust and inclusive infrastructure for AI research in the United States, setting the stage for future breakthroughs and advancements in the field.

The TDGA Institute, operating under the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA), has advanced personal data protection by organising a comprehensive training course on the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) from January 25 to February 2, 2024.

Image credits: dga.or.th

The training welcomed guests, including Dr Suphawan Tharapokakul, a senior digital advisor and assistant, and Prof Dr Praphanpong Kham-on, the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. The session also covered updates on crucial secondary laws aligned with the PDPA 2019.

The primary objective of the PDPA Law Course for Data Protection Practitioners is to cultivate knowledge and understanding of the Personal Data Protection Act 2019 and other laws concerning personal data protection. The target audience includes government executives and employees with personal data protection responsibilities within their respective agencies.

Additionally, the course is open to individuals aspiring to enhance their knowledge to function effectively as personal data protection officers or committee members in the realm of personal data protection. Participants actively engaged in preparing personal data processing records (RoPA), gaining hands-on experience to complement their theoretical understanding.

The PDPA, enacted in 2019, serves as a critical legal framework in Thailand to safeguard individuals’ data from unauthorised access and use. In an era where digital advancements redefine managing and protecting personal data, staying abreast of relevant laws is imperative.

The course’s tailored approach, catering to government executives and employees directly involved in personal data protection, reflects a commitment to building a cadre of professionals well-versed in the intricacies of data protection laws.

The involvement of Assistant Prof Supawat Malanon, an expert teacher specialising in management and innovation, adds academic underpinning to the practical aspects of the training. The focus on preparing personal data processing records aligns with the practical application of the acquired knowledge, reinforcing the participants’ ability to translate theory into action.

The initiative by the TDGA Institute, operating under the DGA, exemplifies a forward-looking approach to digital governance, where the responsible handling of personal data is a cornerstone for building trust in the digital ecosystem.

The PDPA training aligns with global trends, emphasising the importance of robust data protection measures. As individuals become more aware of the value and sensitivity of their data, ensuring compliance with data protection laws becomes a strategic imperative.

Moreover, the participation of government executives and employees in the training underscores the commitment of public institutions to uphold the highest data protection standards. Government agencies entrusted with vast amounts of personal data play a crucial role in setting the benchmark for data protection practices. By investing in the training of data protection practitioners, the government demonstrates a proactive stance in addressing the evolving challenges of the digital age.

As organisations grapple with the complexities of data management, the role of data protection practitioners becomes pivotal. These professionals protect privacy, ensuring that personal data is handled ethically and transparently and complies with relevant laws. The PDPA training imparts legal knowledge and nurtures a culture of responsibility and accountability in handling personal data.

Moreover, the insights, backed by academic and practical expertise, provide participants with a holistic understanding of the intricacies of personal data protection laws. This multidimensional approach enables participants to navigate the nuances of data protection in diverse organisational settings.

The PDPA training for Data Protection Practitioners by the TDGA Institute emerges as a commendable initiative in the landscape of digital governance. By investing in the knowledge and skills of data protection practitioners, the DGA demonstrates a commitment to fostering a secure and ethical digital environment. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, this training plays a crucial role in shaping Thailand’s responsible and resilient digital future.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.