New AI policy aims to transform economy
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New AI policy aims to transform economy

Ministry wants to train Thais on tech

Ms Supamas says the ministry wants to use AI technology to foster the economic and social development of the country.
Ms Supamas says the ministry wants to use AI technology to foster the economic and social development of the country.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) is introducing its "MHESI for AI" policy, aiming to empower Thais to use artificial intelligence for national development.

MHESI Minister Supamas Isarabhakdi said the main obstacles for AI development in Thailand are a shortage of skilled workers and a lack of AI applications.

The ministry's policy integrates AI into university curricula, ensuring students and university personnel are literate about AI and able to use it effectively.

The policy adheres to ethical considerations about AI, she said.

The policy will be an engine to support universities transitioning to "Education 6.0" that integrates advanced tech in the learning process, preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century, according to the ministry.

The ministry wants to use AI technology to foster the economic and social development of the country, said Ms Supamas.

The MHESI for AI policy has three main focus areas.

The first focus is AI for lifelong learning by developing AI teachers and coaches who will create platforms supporting lifelong learning for all stages of life. This initiative aims to provide the necessary skills, starting with English language proficiency for careers, creating a workforce to support the AI industries.

As Thailand has low English proficiency compared with other Southeast Asian countries, the ministry plans to enhance English learning efficiency through AI tools that support various teaching methods.

Moreover, AI will be utilised to simulate teachers or tutors for out-of-classroom learning based on individual interests, facilitating rapid skill development according to personal needs.

The second focus is AI workforce development by developing AI professionals and establishing AI infrastructure for Thai education and the labour market.

This includes programmes like promoting an understanding of AI at elementary, high school and vocational levels, developing international intellectual property innovations, and establishing an AI workforce for educational institutions.

It also includes offering AI degree programmes and AI projects for public servants.

The aim is to provide AI professionals, AI engineers and IT professionals or other vocations with AI tool skills -- covering 30,000 people within three years.

The third focus is on AI innovation to drive the economy by providing the full support of AI innovation.

Ms Supamas will expedite support for the practical application of AI innovation, especially in the business sector, through mechanisms such as innovation support from agencies within the ministry.

Her ministry has a national AI development plan for 2022-2027, covering five strategies.

The first strategy focuses on creating understanding and awareness of ethical considerations. This strategy involves essential laws and regulations governing AI.

Second is a focus on AI infrastructure development by increasing AI investment by 10% annually.

The third involves AI workforce development, aimed at producing 30,000 AI professionals.

The fourth focuses on R&D in AI by creating 100 AI innovations that could impact the economy by 48 billion baht.

The fifth focuses on supporting AI business and AI usage in 600 organisations nationwide.

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