A real game changer
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A real game changer

Private companies are increasingly embracing AI, transforming the way they operate and raising customer expectations

According to IDC, Thailand's AI platform software market is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 43.1% from 2023 to 2027, with the value reaching $142 million.
According to IDC, Thailand's AI platform software market is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 43.1% from 2023 to 2027, with the value reaching $142 million.

Many Thai companies are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), including generative AI, to bolster operations and better serve customers.

Some firms plan to use this popular technology to increase their revenue.

Generative AI (GenAI) can create various types of content, ranging from text to synthetic data.

Manat Manavutiveth, chief executive of True Corporation, said AI is widely used at True to benefit consumers with faster, safer and more efficient services.

He said GenAI is a particularly powerful tool for True's virtual customer service agent, Mari. It allows the agent to converse with customers using natural language.

"Our chat service handles nearly 2 million contacts per month, with Mari handling nearly 90% of them and human agents the rest," said Mr Manat.

Thanks to an accuracy rate of 90-95%, Mari outperforms global benchmarks for customer satisfaction, he said.

True also deploys GenAI for its call centre, allowing customers to change price plans by conversing naturally with Mari by voice.

"This year Mari will gradually develop more capabilities, such as resolving technical issues, and we will broaden the number of customers she serves," said Mr Manat.


He said AI is an important tool to achieve sustainability goals.

"At our network sites, AI is used to predict mobile usage and control energy consumption accordingly," said Mr Manat.

"While maintaining an excellent customer experience, AI can achieve energy savings of up to 15%, helping us reach our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030."

AI can also improve network quality by making networks self-optimising and self-healing.

Combining AI-powered networks and virtual service agents creates a world-class customer experience where most issues can be preempted or resolved in real-time, he said.

"Our ambition is to continue deploying AI sustainably, which is why we were the first major Thai corporation to issue an ethical AI charter. It is designed to ensure good intent, fairness and bias mitigation, data privacy and transparency in our AI solutions," said Mr Manat.

"Another aspect of sustainable AI is to prepare the workforce. True targets 2,400 employees trained in digital competencies this year and more than 5,000 employees in 2026. Roughly one-third of them will be data analysts, data scientists or software engineers."

According to Advanced Info Service (AIS), the company continues to deploy advanced technologies to foster its business operations as part of its goal to become a "cognitive technology company".

The adoption of AI enables AIS to respond to customer demand on a real-time, interactive and customised basis.

AIS is testing a "voice bot" to interact with customers and the company uses AI to promote efficient energy usage at its cellular base stations.

However, the company said it believes the best service offering comes from a true understanding of customers' needs, which humans still do best, leading it to upgrade staff skills with technological tools.


Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is introducing services equipped with AI, including AI-based digital loan services through its mobile banking app SCB Easy.

These services include loans for small businesses, mortgages and automobiles available to existing SCB depositors.

The bank has 17.8 million customers, with 84% using the SCB Easy app.

SCB also uses AI for portfolio and wealth management.

Chief executive Kris Chantanotoke said AI-based services are expected to help increase digital income to 25% of total revenue by 2025.

In the first quarter, digital revenue comprised 9.9%, while the target by year-end is 13-15%, he said.

Despite advancements in digital banking, Mr Kris said SCB remains committed to its employees and plans to use AI technology for staff development.

"The bank is steadfast in its belief that AI will spearhead a new S-curve industry, propelling us towards our vision of becoming a full-fledged digital bank," he said.


Ruangroj Poonpol, chairman of Kasikorn Business-Technology Group (KBTG), the tech arm of Kasikornbank (KBank), said the bank piloted the use of GenAI in many operation areas, focusing on improving efficiency.

For example, the bank uses chatbots to assist staff in loan offerings and an AI-driven co-pilot feature to support employees with their coding.

Moreover, KBTG collaborates with partners on R&D in GenAI.

The company developed a GenAI-based financial feature dubbed "Future You" with MIT Media Lab.

Future You is an interactive AI platform that allows users to engage in real-time conversations with a virtual version of their future selves. By answering a series of questions, the AI constructs a personalised and relatable future self, providing users with the opportunity to explore their potential future paths and make informed decisions about their lives, he said.

Mr Ruangroj said KBank gives top priority to risk management when developing AI products and services to ensure that its AI use will not have a negative impact on customers.


Central Food Group, Thailand's largest supermarket chain, is teaming up with food waste management system Smartway to test the latter's AI-based solutions for digitised food waste management in five of the group's Tops stores in Bangkok and surrounding areas.

The trial is slated to begin this month.

Smartway's solutions allow store teams to identify products nearing their expiration date, strategically price them with discounts of 20% to 40%, and take measures to ensure accurate ordering.

Central Food Group said it wants to position itself as a leader in sustainability in the Asian retail sector.

In the e-commerce sector, Leena Chanvirach, vice-president for data products at aCommerce Group, a Southeast Asian e-commerce enabler, said the company launched the GenAI-powered feature AskIQ in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing arm of Amazon.

With AskIQ, e-commerce companies across Southeast Asia can query more than 100 billion competitor data points, including category performance, market trends, competitor pricing and top selling products.

"Brands can harness the power of AI and data-driven insights on our platform to make well-informed, strategic decisions that drive growth," said Ms Leena.

Meanwhile, AWS plans to launch its data centre region in Thailand in early 2025 to drive conglomerates to embrace GenAI for new use cases.

A data centre region is a cluster of data centres in a specific geographic area.

AWS said this new infrastructure would nurture startups, small and medium-sized enterprises and public sector organisations to thrive, offering access to the latest technologies such as GenAI.


However, Thai businesses still lack workers with AI skills, which is considered the primary barrier to adopting AI technology, according to a PwC survey late last year.

PwC Thailand advises business leaders to upskill their employees, explore the adept use of AI and invest to drive long-term growth.

Pisit Thangtanagul, chief executive of PwC Thailand, said both public and private organisations are increasingly embracing AI technology.

According to PwC's "27th Annual Global CEO Survey – Thailand: Leading through accelerated reinvention", 36% of Thai executives adopted GenAI across their companies, while 24% have changed their business strategy because of GenAI.

Despite the potential of GenAI to improve an organisation's productivity, the report found more than half of Thai chief executives (58%) say they need to upskill their employees to support GenAI usage at work.

"The challenge Thailand faces is the gap in implementation as organisations lack AI readiness," Mr Pisit said.

Even as GenAI adoption increases, he said Thai businesses have no plans to reduce headcounts.


Roger Ling, associate vice-president of IDC Research (Thailand), said AI platform software is among the top five areas to which local enterprises allocated more budget regarding app development and app deployment over the past couple of years.

According to IDC, Thailand's AI platform software market is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 43.1% from 2023 to 2027, with the value reaching US$142 million.

In 2023, the top spenders on AI software in Thailand were financial services, accounting for 27.1% of total spending, manufacturers 19.7%, infrastructure and energy 18.6%, the public sector 14.7% and healthcare 4.9%.

A 2023 IDC survey on Thai enterprises found 46.7% of respondents are exploring potential AI use cases and 20% said they are investing significantly in GenAI.

Over the next 18 months, 34.4% of Thai enterprises say they will invest in GenAI, 33.1% in interpretive AI and 32.6% in predictive AI.


Kobkrit Viriyayudhakorn, president of the AI Entrepreneur Association of Thailand, said AI adoption by large enterprises will open new opportunities for them to create innovations.

He noted Thailand has OpenThaiGPT, a GenAI model that supports the use of the Thai language. The model has received a positive response, with more than 50,000 downloads, said Mr Kobkrit.

He said local IT startups have harnessed AI technology to create new products and services.

For example, social monitoring company Wisesight uses AI to conduct sentiment analysis on social media, while Botnoi Consulting uses AI to develop a text-to-speech service in Thai language.

Meanwhile, iApp Technology used AI to develop a chatbot called "Tanoy" to answer queries about Thai laws, while Mymooban Co uses AI to offer a solution that records vehicle access to a village to ensure security.

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