ETDA establishes Foresight Centre

ETDA establishes Foresight Centre

Think tank to gauge technology shifts

Mr Sak, fifth from left, along with Mr Pun-Arj, centre, and key speakers are pictured at the ETDA Digital Foresight Symposium 2022.
Mr Sak, fifth from left, along with Mr Pun-Arj, centre, and key speakers are pictured at the ETDA Digital Foresight Symposium 2022.

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) is setting up the "Foresight Centre by ETDA" as a think tank to gauge the prospect of future technological and industrial changes so policymakers can create an updated plan to cope with any challenges.

ETDA expects the centre will be a key tool to develop digital transaction regulations and new digital standards.

"We see the need to study possible scenarios that could happen in the next 5-10 years so as to prepare strategies and implement them for the future," ETDA advisor Sak Segkhoonthod said at ETDA Digital Foresight Symposium 2022.

ETDA is proceeding with a research project to envision future trends in connection with digital transactions, digital identity, artificial intelligence and the internet, he said.

According to him, the ETDA found Thais spent an average of 10 hours and 36 minutes per day online last year. The country also saw 9.7 billion real-time payments in 2021, trailing only China and India, according to ACI Worldwide, a real-time payments software provider.

In 2022, he said the global metaverse market is expected to be worth US$100 billion, up from $64 billion last year.

Tyn Tawitaranond, advisor and acting deputy executive director of ETDA, said 10 million baht will be earmarked for the Foresight Centre every year. The ETDA will also work with policymakers, regulators, telecom operators and those in the financial and fintech sectors as well as Office of the National Economics and Social Development Council in this project.

He said the centre is expected to make four foresight study publications per year to share with the public.

"The publications will help policymakers prepare for the worst and find ways to minimise risks as well as rolling out proper regulations for the future," said Mr Tyn, adding the studies would help shape up-to-date national strategic plans and prepare for changes.

He said there is a need to level up the country's digital infrastructure and ecosystem.

In the future, authorities cannot afford only to focus on digital identity but must take into account multi-identities as people now can present in the virtual world, such as the metaverse, he noted.

The National Innovation Centre (NIA) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with the ETDA to support the foresight study publications and innovation testing.

Pun-Arj Chairatana, executive director of the NIA, said his organisation has had extended experience in terms of the foresight study publications through its Innovation Foresight Institute.

The cooperation could help the government proceed with regulatory guillotine and sandbox for pilot services, he said.

Karndee Leopairote, chief advisor to FutureTales Lab, a future research operator, said she forecast a major focus on space technology in 2050. During the period 2021-2030, corporates are in a process of shifting away from supplying products to serving as platforms in what is called the "platform economy".

The metaverse will integrate the virtual world with normal life, which would then lead to the multiverse and meta economy, she said.

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