Digital Economy Ministry to set up national AI committee
text size

Digital Economy Ministry to set up national AI committee

Digital Economy Ministry to set up national AI committee
Mr Prasert delivers a keynote speech at Huawei's Digital and Intelligence APAC Congress 2024 in Thailand on Monday.

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry is gearing up to establish a new national artificial intelligence (AI) committee to accelerate the national AI strategy in the second phase.

The move is part of Thailand's Asean Digital Economy and AI hub plan to spur the digital economy as a growth engine, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, the ministry will make use of a digital ID platform to support the digital wallet handout scheme.

"Thailand gives priority to the development of digital and intelligence technology to make the digital economy the growth engine of the policy to enhance the country's competitiveness and the efficiency of electronic transactions and the development of the digital workforce," DES Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong said in his keynote speech at Huawei's Digital and Intelligence APAC Congress 2024 in Bangkok on Monday.

The flagship projects under these initiatives include the Cloud First Policy, of which related regulations are being drafted to establish a Cloud First Policy board comprising related state agencies' permanent secretaries-general. This board would set policy guidelines, standards for the cloud, and security and procurement rules to support the cloud usage model.

He added that related agencies are setting a budget for a cloud service use first policy and the establishment of a new AI committee needs cabinet approval.

"The country needs to have a new national AI committee to give the green light to further develop the national AI strategy," Mr Prasert said.

He said by this June, the cabinet would establish the new national AI committee that would gather various agencies chaired by the prime minister to drive the national AI strategy in the second phase.

The previous committee was dissolved following the change of government. The new committee will be set up by the new premier.

Another flagship policy is AI development. The ministry is developing a national AI service platform, Thai large language model, and preparing guidelines on AI ethics, laws, regulations and skills development.

Earlier, Putchapong Nodthaisong, secretary-general of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission, told the Bangkok Post the commission has AI ethical guidelines in place. By the end of May, its digital economy promotion subcommittee will convene to consider drafting AI regulations to enforce upon those who violate AI ethics.

"We will have a new subcommittee for digital economy promotion and a subcommittee for legal matters, which would mainly oversee AI," said Mr Putchapong.

The National Digital Economy and Society Commission will work with the National AI committee, said Mr Putchapong.

Mr Prasert said that the ministry aims to have 50% of citizens using digital ID in 2024 and 100% in 2025. By the third quarter, it expects to use the Digital Government Development Agency's digital ID app for the digital wallet scheme.

The ministry will also push the global digital talent visa, aiming to attract 50,000 digital talents.

Leo Chen, senior vice-president of Huawei and president of Huawei enterprise sales, said Asia-Pacific sees great potential in AI growth and investment with the value expected to reach US$87.6 billion in 2028, up from 22.1 billion in 2023. He said many countries have national AI strategies, including Thailand.

The top five industries at the forefront of digital and intelligence transformation are professional services, telecom, retail, discrete manufacturing and banking.

Nararya S. Soeprapto, deputy secretary-general of Asean for Community and Corporate Affairs, said Asean's digital economy reached $300 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $1 trillion or rise to $2 trillion in 2030.

The contribution to foreign direct investment in Asean's ICT sector from multinational enterprises surged to $10.5 billion in 2022 from $5.9 billion in 2021.

The number of 5G subscribers in Asean is projected to exceed 200 million with data consumption set to increase sevenfold by 2030.

"Talent is indispensable for digital transformation, AI is not just creating or eliminating jobs, but more than 20 million jobs are to be relocated in the six largest Asean economies," he said.

Nicholas Ma, president of Huawei's Asia Pacific Enterprise Business Group, said Thailand is among its strategic countries within Asia-Pacific as the government pursues its vision for digital transformation, particularly AI and cloud and vertical demand in fintech, along with smart factories, Industry 4.0, education and healthcare.

Do you like the content of this article?