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Convergence of new tech|out to rock the corporate world 

Jun 28. 2019
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By ASINA PORNWASIN
THE NATION 

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ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI), the internet of things, and blockchain are the main drivers in corporate Thailand’s transition to a digital era, said Patama Chantaruck, vice president for Indochina expansion and managing director of IBM Thailand, adding that the pervasive nature of the new technologies is reshaping standard business architectures in the country. 

 

“We have seen the emergence of disruptive technologies. We have seen the historic changes – the advent of data, the emergence of AI/cognitive, the maturation of cloud, the internet of things, the IT and business platforms, the rise of blockchain, the coming-true power of quantum computing – these are each taking a part in transforming the way our businesses operate, and are fundamentally transforming the way we live,” said Patama. 

Organisations need to have a hybrid, agile and flexible cloud infrastructure – open, secure and well managed – operating in seamless private, public and multi-cloud environments, to host and run automation, blockchain and AI solutions, he added. 

Businesses need open cloud technologies, enabling them to move applications and data across multiple clouds easily and securely.

The rapid innovations in technology have caused companies across industries to rethink how they leverage digital tools such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual realities and more, into their daily operations.

“We are at a historic inflection point – when data is growing at an exponential rate and changing the way we work and live. Data is being referred to as the world’s newest natural resource, the ‘new oil’,” said Patama.

AI is both “now” and real, with each of us already interacting with this technology. Artificial intelligence is being used for customer queries at call centres and by farmers seeking recommendations for yield increases among numerous other services. 

IBM Watson AI, for instance, can provide answers to questions based on a small amount of vertical data. It has now been adopted by more than 16,000 clients in 20 industries in 80 countries around the world.

This is the time to place ethics, trust and transparency at the heart of the discussion about artificial intelligence. Companies and their customers will never be able to realise the full potential of AI unless it is underpinned by trust and confidence. 

For its part, IoT is fundamentally about the connectedness of things. Today, everything is invariably connected to everything else. Now, this connectedness allows people to link data and actions across previously disparate and discrete activities. 

The use of connected industrial equipment, buildings and facilities and vehicles, industrial IoT (IioT), is creating exponential increases in data (80 per cent of it unstructured) and the opportunity to find completely new and useable insights. 

These insights enable people to not only optimise the way everyday things are done, but more importantly to extend that to imagine and implement completely new ways of working. 

“IoT gives AI the data needed to understand the physical world as everything becomes connected, while AI is needed to make sense of the vast amounts of data IoT is generating. And to allow people and things to work smarter and better as a result,” said Patama. 

Meanwhile, Natavudh Pung-charoenpong, chief executive officer of Ookbee, said that AI and machine learning are playing an exponential role in the real world, especially in autonomous vehicles and voice command using natural language processing. We will have more home devices that can better understand the context of human conversation. 

These will be the mainstream technologies in the near future, coming with a bigger impact on the business models of many industries (automobile, insurance, transportation and logistics) and on individual lives. 

As for blockchain, Natavudh said the technology has high potential in digital currencies. Currently, big players across industries are moving to tap the opportunities. 

The beauty of digital currencies is in cost saving and convenience for both service providers (across industries) and users. Digital currency by blockchain will play a more important role in the next digital disruption, he said. Meanwhile, Patama of IBM Thailand added that blockchain will do for trust and transactions what the internet did for communications and data.

“Disruptive technologies have already changed our work and life. In Thailand, businesses have a great appetite for exploring disruptive technologies. 

AI, the cloud, blockchain, IT systems and cybersecurity are coming to life here,” said Patama.

Vatsun Thirapatarapong, managing director of Cisco Thailand and Indochina, said that AI, blockchain and IoT will continue to disrupt businesses and people’s lives in the next few years. There will be more industries affected by these technologies, following the media, retail, technology, and finance sectors affected in the first round. 

“Corporates need to focus on customer experience, business process, and tech talent when going through a digital transformation,” said Vatson.

People, as individuals, will also face a bionic transformation that will see a lot more blending between the digital and physical worlds. We will experience a lot more offerings, such as omnichannel and online-to-offline services, he predicted. 

 

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