Big Data Institute joins state effort to create data-driven country

Big Data Institute joins state effort to create data-driven country

Tiranee: Making an economic impact
Tiranee: Making an economic impact

The Big Data Institute (BDI) is pushing the use of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to make Thailand a data-driven country.

The institute's goal is to create economic impact of more than 3 billion baht as well as increasing employment opportunities from developing big data manpower by more than 200 million baht by this year.

The BDI operates under the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry. It was formed in June 2023. Earlier it was the Government Big Data Institute and operated under the Digital Economy Promotion Agency.

The institute is responsible for data resource management and provides analytics for all state agencies as well as handling data analytics and cybersecurity for the overall economy, said DES Minister Prasert Jantararuangthong.

Mr Prasert said the BDI will help drive the country by taking advantage of big data and reduce the problem of duplicate work by different government agencies. It also plays an important role in helping to enhance Thailand's digital and innovation competitiveness on the world stage.

One of the ministry's key projects is to develop a Thai Large Language Model (ThaiLLM) as an AI infrastructure for the Thai language and the BDI is the main agency driving this project, Mr Prasert said.

He said the DES Ministry and the Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Ministry might need to co-invest in the ThaiLLM project, which costs around 160 million baht.

BDI president Tiranee Achalakul said an important highlight of the BDI is the gathering of more than 100 new generation data professionals who are ready to learn, are flexible and have clear goals.

They are committed to developing the country's competitive advantage to enable Thailand to have stable, sustainable and transparent economic potential, through pushing Thailand towards becoming a data-driven nation, she said.

Ms Tiranee said the BDI has three main projects ready to deploy data to drive the economy.

First is Project Big that collects critical information from various agencies, stores it and provides data analysis to achieve systematic use. This consists of the Health Link project that links health information between medical facilities across the country, the Travel Link Project that connects and develops travel information services and expands the competitiveness of the tourism industry.

It also includes the Envi Link project for urban areas to support environmental policy planning, clean air and reduce the carbon footprint, and provides data analytics services.

Second is the Project Bridge that develops entrepreneurs by creating both demand and supply of data science that studies the market and analyses problems and provides advice on making full use of data.

In addition, the Research and Innovations project develops AI infrastructure through cooperation of the public and private sectors, enhancing the ability to generate meaningful and natural text similar to human language usage that can be used widely in a variety of applications in both the public and private sectors.

Last is Project Learn, which promotes upgrading skills in processing, analysis and AI to produce data analysts and data engineers for the country. The project includes big data e-learning and practice-based learning that develop manpower through upskilling and reskilling programmes.

"The BDI estimates that by 2024, from driving its main mission, it will create an impact on economic value of more than 3 billion baht from use of the Health Link, which helps reduce the cost of duplication of public health services," Ms Tiranee added.

She said the BDI also aims to create employment opportunities worth more than 200 million baht from developing manpower in big data, as well as supporting and developing the state to work in an integrated manner through data linkage.

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