Microsoft: 100 firms to adopt AI in year ahead

Microsoft: 100 firms to adopt AI in year ahead

Mr Dhanawat (right) says AI and IoT are the top technologies shaping the future of business in Thailand and across Asia-Pacific.
Mr Dhanawat (right) says AI and IoT are the top technologies shaping the future of business in Thailand and across Asia-Pacific.

At least 100 enterprises in Thailand will embrace artificial intelligence (AI) to drive competitiveness via digital transformation in 2019, says Microsoft.

The tech giant said Thailand should be more enthusiastic in adopting AI for sustainable growth because the technology will bolster human capabilities.

"This year, some 20 early adopters such as conglomerates, banks, telecom operators and retail businesses will embrace AI to differentiate their products and services in the digital transformation era," said Dhanawat Suthumpun, managing director of Microsoft Thailand.

Enterprises are investing in AI teams, data scientists and data engineers while adopting third-party AI technology to integrate products and services.

The public sector lags behind companies in embracing AI because of procurement regulations.

In the banking sector, facial recognition technology will be used in e-KYC, blockchain and machine learning for fraud detection, while the oil and gas sector will use AI for road safety, detecting dangerous driving behaviour, and for loyalty programmes and e-commerce in retail business.

"Microsoft sees that human ingenuity is amplified by intelligence technology," Mr Dhanawat said. "We are not determined to replace humans with AI."

AI and data intelligence play a crucial role at the centre of businesses' digital transformation, leveraging data loops from customer engagement, optimising operations for cost reduction, empowering employees and transforming products.

In 2019, Microsoft foresees mid-size companies embracing AI in the next wave of adoption. This group will purchase available AI technology.

"Most companies have limited resources, so they can adopt technology from others for faster implementation, and Microsoft technology enables them to reach their goals without competing with their businesses," Mr Dhanawat said.

He said the government must adopt an "AI first" strategy by making the technology more accessible and affordable to businesses at all levels to increase the country's competitiveness.

Mr Dhanawat said the company plans to collaborate with the government to increase workforce capabilities in AI-based skills, similar to how Microsoft is working with the Taiwanese government.

Sunny Park, regional director for corporate, external and legal affairs at Microsoft Asia-Pacific, said a Microsoft-IDC study found that 95% of jobs in Thailand will be transformed within three years, with 30% outsourced, automated or made obsolete.

A roughly equal number of new roles will be created by shifts in the digital landscape and provide ample work opportunities, Ms Park said.

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