TUESDAY, April 16, 2024

Tech executives: Users should seek ways to coexist with the new era driven by AI

Tech executives: Users should seek ways to coexist with the new era driven by AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has both advantages that could offer unlimited opportunities and constraints that could affect business and society, several digital experts said during the seminar “AI Revolution 2024: Transforming Thailand Economy” held on March 22 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Bangkok. The seminar was hosted by Krungthep Turakij, an online media arm of Nation Group.

Amazon Web Services pointed out that AI takes a leading role in business operations and wellbeing, thanks to the machine learning system that allows the technology to analyse massive data and respond to human demand.

“Many companies are adopting the technology to gain maximum benefits in improving the customer experience, boosting workforce creativity and enhancing operational excellence,” said the company’s head of technology for Asia and Pacific, Joel Garcia.

Joel Garcia

Travel application operator Booking.com applies AI to analyse users’ behaviour to offer personalised experiences for them, he explained. He added that the technology can summarise users’ massive data to provide answers within seconds.

To achieve success on the AI journey, Garcia advised business operators to seek the easiest way to build by choosing an appropriate foundation model and differentiating the data collected in a secure and private environment, while increasing productivity with generative AI applications and services, and ensuring the most performant and resilient infrastructure to scale generative AI.

Anothai Wettayakorn

Workforce needed for AI transition

Three trends are expected to happen this year – AI adoption to enhance business operations, introduction of small language models to further boost efficiency in AI training, and a call for transparency and governance for AI, said IBM general manager Anothai Wettayakorn.

Small language models consist of parameters in one to two languages which offer cost-effectiveness and less computational power requirements compared to large ones, he explained.

The IBM general manager advised business operators to embrace the technology to boost operational efficiency, as well as upskilling and reskilling their employees to ensure equality among all generations of workers.

As AI is a double-edged sword that could benefit or damage business and society, he urged policymakers to issue laws and regulations to supervise the use of technology to prevent cybercrimes and misinformation.

“AI usage should be monitored to ensure ethical use of technology,” he said, adding that those who do not adapt to the technology will be affected by digital transformation.

Jirayut Srupsrisopa

Echoing Anothai, founder and group CEO of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings, Jirayut Srupsrisopa, said people should receive upskilling and reskilling as AI could help boost employees’ potential exponentially in terms of productivity and/or creativity.

AI could be used as a business tool to unlock unlimited opportunities. For instance, the technology could be applied to facilitate dermatologists screening patients’ skin conditions, he explained.

He warned that AI could replace 10,000 job positions that do not require a human touch. “If one employee has a maximum of 10 skills, four of them could be automated,” he said.

Jirayut confirmed that Thailand has sufficient infrastructure to support the digital economy, but stressed that the most important thing to build is human capital.

“All people should be educated to boost their digital literacy,” he added.

Dhanawat Suthumpun

Opportunities come with responsibility

As AI can facilitate the summarising of information, offer creative ideas and deliver insights, users should apply discretion while using it to prevent impact on business and society, Microsoft Thailand warned.

“AI offers a lot of opportunities, but it also comes with responsibility because we cannot believe in everything that the technology offers,” said the company’s managing director Dhanawat Suthumpun.

He said responsible AI principles and frameworks are necessary to ensure fairness, reliability, safety, privacy and inclusiveness among users.

Sak Segkhoonthod

Responding to concerns over AI, adviser to the Electronic Transactions Development Agency, Sak Segkhoonthod, said Thailand is working on two draft bills on regulations to ensure transparency, governance and ethical use of this technology.

The agency adviser pointed out that AI usage could result in many issues, such as copyright infringement, violation of privacy and other social issues. He confirmed that regulations should be flexible to ensure fairness in society.

These laws are essential as we must supervise use cases like laying off 40 employees for AI adoption or how its use will impact children’s development, he said.

However, Sak noted that Thailand would wait until other countries launched their own AI regulations to ensure that the country’s version would meet international standards.

The US, United Kingdom and China have already launched regulations to supervise AI so far, he added.

He also advised people to avoid entering their personal or company information to prevent AI from spreading misinformation, as well as following news to cope with the digital transition.

Prasert Jantararuangtong.

Road to the digital hub

The government is paying attention to AI development which is in line with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s policy to promote Thailand as a digital hub, said Digital Economy and Society Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong.

He said many countries are paying attention to AI ethics, but claimed that Thailand is currently behind in the transition due to slow development progress and lack of developers.

To tackle this issue, the ministry is collaborating with relevant agencies to support technology developers on AI development, as well as encouraging business operators to adopt the technology to boost their competitiveness.

Tech executives: Users should seek ways to coexist with the new era driven by AI

“Our flagship programme is to develop the Thai large language model to further develop applications for supporting industries, such as the medical and tourism industries,” he said.

He added that government agencies are making efforts to attract digital nomads to Thailand and simultaneously increasing the workforce in the digital industry. “We need 100,000 workers to support the industry growth, but we have only 20,000 people,” he said.

Prasert added that collaboration with the private sector is necessary to achieve the goal of promoting Thailand as a digital hub.