Key sectors keen on generative AI

Key sectors keen on generative AI

Mr Mehrotra says the discussion regarding responsible AI is heating up around the globe.
Mr Mehrotra says the discussion regarding responsible AI is heating up around the globe.

The telecom sector, state agencies and academics are keen to explore the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and prepare for its responsible use to prevent any negative impacts.

The discussion about responsible AI is heating up around the globe, whether it's in Singapore, China, the US, the UK or the EU, Sharad Mehrotra, deputy chief executive of True Corporation, said at the company's recent hybrid conference entitled 'AI Gets Good'.

"We believe an integrated approach that considers technology, people and ethics is critical for Thailand to harness the power of AI."

According to Accenture, around 40% of all working hours could be augmented by language-based AI, Mr Mehrotra said.

Currently, machine learning is already used by True in customer services, where it reduces errors and protects customers' data.

Mr Mehrotra said AI will enable 100% of True and DTAC shops to go paperless by 2023. By 2027, True is targeting 100% automation for all routine tasks.

Agents in shops and call centres already rely on AI-powered solutions that instantly diagnose issues, make more relevant recommendations and reduce handling time by 35%.

This is in addition to AI-powered chatbots which process 150,000 customer requests per month.

Automation is one of over 100 initiatives True is conducting to achieve 250 billion in net synergies between True and DTAC between 2023 and 2030.

As part of these synergies, 65-70 billion baht is from unified organisation and operations, which includes modernisation and automation.

True Corporation will continue developing its workforce with future-ready skills and adopt the right-sized organisation with the right structure.

To further accelerate the adoption of such solutions, True aims to train 200 citizen developers by 2027. Citizen developers use tools that require little to no programming skills to digitalise manual processes.

True also uses machine learning in its networks to predict usage at individual sites in real time.

During moments of low usage, unused equipment can be switched off without affecting customer experience, reducing energy usage by 10-15%. This can contribute significantly to the company's climate target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, Mr Mehrotra said.

He added that True is also making AI technology available to its business customers. True digital group has developed solutions in retail, agriculture and health that combine data from Internet of Things devices, 5G connectivity and machine learning.

True has outlined four principles of its ethical AI usage: AI should only be used to benefit humans, AI should not discriminate, it should fully respect customer data and the law, and AI decisions should be explainable.

Chaichana Mitrpant, executive director of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), said to responsibly use AI, organisations need an appropriate and transparent framework to minimise risk and adverse impacts on users or society while increasing economic growth.

He added that Thailand has yet to regulate AI as it still lacks AI regulatory experience.

However, the ETDA will closely monitor AI development overseas, especially countries in Europe that regulate the use of AI to conduct credit scoring over concerns that such AI usage could affect people's privacy.

The ETDA will issue a guideline white paper for AI usage in healthcare, focusing on ethics and self regulation. The Bank of Thailand is also preparing guidelines for the use of AI in the financial sector.

The agency also has guidelines for the use of generative AI, particularly in tourism by explaining how to use AI for planning trips and promotions while addressing concerns and risks.

"We need to educate three groups of people, starting from citizens to create revenue in the gig economy, and in business and government for use cases and to develop the workforce, and children," Mr Chaichana said.

He said the ETDA is in talks with the Thailand Automotive Institute to prepare a test for autonomous vehicles to ensure users' safety as there have been reports of accidents involving driverless vehicles in countries pioneering the new technology.

Kriengsak Wongpromrat, president of the Thailand Automotive Institute, told the Bangkok Post that autonomous vehicles are still at an early pilot stage in Thailand within limited areas at low speed, but this issue needs to be prepared carefully as the use of driverless vehicles involves not only the vehicles but road and traffic signals.

The country needs to upgrade skills, infrastructure and suppliers to handle the arrival of connected and autonomous vehicles, he said.

Data security and privacy are also issues of concern. Car hacking to create accidents or control a vehicle while seeking a ransom would be serious issues in near future, Mr Kriengsak said.

Jittat Fakcharoenphol, vice-chair of the Computer Engineering Department at Kasetsart University and translator of the recently published book The Ethical Algorithm, said AI developers need to ensure they do not to have bias in AI projects through the use of balanced data training and should be able to properly explain the evidence in terms of project transparency.

Mr Jittat said the education sector is keen on promoting education regarding AI technology and computing science has already been introduced in schools at the secondary level. He said the key challenge is how to create a skilled workforce that can deal with the fast changing technology.

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