Talk to the generals

Re: "Defence body eyes reform", (BP, June 2).

National defence forces are important to a country's security. The Move Forward Party should arrange a meeting and seek an understanding with military leaders before it carries out reform of the nation's defence mechanism.

The newly-elected government might feel it is entitled to do anything to reform the military (for example, cutting the number of generals and troops as well as its national budgets by half), but it cannot do it without consulting the military first, for the sake of national security.

Soldiers love this country too. More than that, they have been taught and trained to protect it.

As former US president John F Kennedy, himself a liberal, once said: "Don't remove a fence until you understand why it was put there"; and "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate".

Vint Chavala

We still need plumbers

Re: "Is AI out for your job?" (Life, May 29).

Tatat Bunnag blithely writes that "Jobs that involve creative thinking, complex problem-solving and human interaction are less likely to be fully replaced by AI. We do things that AI cannot do yet".

He gives not a single example of what such jobs might be. They are not Bangkok Post opinion writers, a job ChatGPT appears quite competent to do.

As a quick test, I asked ChatGPT to "write a 400 word essay under the title: 'Is AI out for your job?'"

A few seconds later, I had a well-constructed essay developing sound arguments in excellent English. It included the sentence: "This can free up human workers from mundane and time-consuming tasks, allowing them to focus on more value-added activities that require creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence" -- including perhaps writing opinion pieces for the Post.

But Mr Bunnag need not despair. ChatGPT also points out in another well-placed sentence that "This has led to the emergence of new job roles such as AI engineers, data scientists, and machine learning specialists". Alternatively, I suspect that ChatGPT and its rapidly evolving siblings probably can't replace plumbers yet. There might be an opening for some up-skilling in that area at a local vocational college.

Felix Qui

Extreme haircut

Re: "Pupils, teachers alike embrace looser hairstyle, dress rules", (BP, March 2).

The Ministry of Education said recently that students' hair can be short or long, provided it is neat and tidy. A week ago my grandson had what I would call a military style haircut.

On Monday he came home with his head virtually shaven. The school's director employs a barber to cut students' hair, at a price.

My wife sent a letter of protest to the director and demanded the fee be returned, which eventually it was.

One wonders how much of the fee the barber gets? Do school directors ignore instructions from the ministry?

Shouldn't they be concentrating more on what is being put into students' heads rather than what's growing on the outside?

Ron Martin

Stepping back first

Re: "MFP urged to cease S112 push", (BP, May 31).

It is not yet clear if the eight-member coalition government headed by Pita can be formed as the extent of support in the Senate is unknown. But one can only hope.

For the global community, a change in Bangkok may mean lesser support to the ruthless junta ruling Myanmar.

It's worth remembering that Thailand is one of the few Asean members recognising the iron-fisted generals of Nay Pyi Taw.

Lesser matters like reform of the monarchy have to be kept in cold storage to achieve a larger good for people in Thailand and around.

I hope Pita, a Harvard alumnus who had headed a transport and delivery app in the past, can deliver on the promises he made to the public, even except royal reform.

Simultaneously, the loyalists populating the Senate also should be wise enough to listen to the public that desires a new beginning.

History is replete with lessons that show the ephemerality of rulers who block the will of the people.

In a nutshell, MFP may have to move backwards on their original agenda to make further progress possible!

Viswanathan Maruthur


The first paragraph of "The tide of history shifts in Thai politics" published on the Opinion Page on June 2, should read May 14 poll, not July 14 poll. We apologise for the mistake.

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