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AIT, Microsoft, SCB, and depa Join Alliance to Develop AI Talents and Pioneer Thailand’s Economy

25 Jun 2022
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By Office of Public Affairs

June 25th, 2022 — Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Microsoft Thailand, and Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the “Digital Manpower Development” program on June 23rd, 2022. This collaboration aims to develop and prepare future talents in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to meet the demand of the job market and support the new S-Curve businesses and industries to enhance Thailand’s digital economy. 

According to depa’s research, the market demand for IT workers in Thailand is about 100,000 persons per year. At the same time, the supply is just 25,000 people for the market — while the IT skills in many instances do not match industrial needs. Furthermore, the need for more AI-skilled workers will be in higher demand in the future. 

Especially the market demand is high for AI talents in marketing, sales, R&D, production, customer service, accounting, and finance. The availability of such AI talents will help Thailand strive for long-term competitiveness and increase market value for the overall business sectors in the region. 

The program developed under this MoU is specifically targeted to tackling five fundamental skills in AI, particularly Fundamentals of AI and Cloud Computing in Practice; Machine Learning; Computer Vision; Natural Language Procession (NLP); and Conversation AI. The courses will allow the soon-to-graduate bachelor seniors and recent graduates to maximize their chances of employability by giving them an opportunity to earn “AI on Cloud” certificate through this Public Private Academic Partnership. 

AIT’s Teaching Expertise and Determination to Practical Outcomes

AIT’s Vice President for Knowledge Transfer (VPKT), Dr. Naveed Anwar underlined AIT’s long-standing mission to develop highly qualified and committed professionals — and since there are numerous benefits and opportunities of learning “AI on Cloud”, the program focuses on building technical skills from the basics to its application.

“This program focuses on building technical skills from zero up. It is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and use AI technology within their industry/sector for problem-solving and future planning. We are building a community of digital learners. This opportunity is open for all, who can learn anywhere and anytime using the online platform”, Dr. Anwar said. 

Dr. Chaklam Silpasuwanchai, Assistant Professor of the Computer Science and Information Management Program in AIT, also one of the program pioneers, said AIT had emphasized developments in AI since the emergence of the technology. The institute foresaw that almost 90% of software would possess some AI components; thus, it could be said that AI primarily drives a country’s economy. More importantly, by upskilling/reskilling Thai people with proper AI skills, he said, “we can make sure that Thailand can be in the forefront of international leaders.” 

Dr. Silpasuwanchai further said AIT’s contribution to this program is based on the institute’s expertise — by providing training materials and lectures to participants in this program. In addition, the objective is to ensure that these courses offer practical learning outcomes focusing on fundamental knowledge in AI and Data Science.

depa Identifies Demands in AI Job Market

Assistant Prof. Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, President and CEO of depa, provided background on demand in technology that digital sectors such as digital content and telecommunication will require 100,000 IT employees per year; however, the supply (talents) in this area is still disproportionate to the demand. 

“Digital Manpower Development program will contribute to the creation of AI-capable employees that meet the labor market demand,” the CEO of depa emphasized. 

SCB Believes AI Will Contribute to Business Growth

Dean of SCB Academy, Mr. Worawat Suvagondha, stated the Digital Manpower Development Program is constructed in accordance with the current employment demand. Mr. Suvagondha cited that he found many leading organizations are incorporating AI technology in their work — such as in marketing, sales, Research and Development (R&D), production, customer services, finance, and accounting. 

In response to these demands, the Dean of SCB Academy stated, “AI will enhance business value and increase long-term competitiveness.” Through this program, the Dean of SCB Academy also hoped AI talents would play an essential role in supporting domestic consumption and economic recovery from Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic”.

Microsoft Thailand is Enthusiastic to Witness the Development of Thailand’s New S-Curve

Marketing and Operation Director at Microsoft (Thailand) Company Limited, Mrs. Chanikarn Pronanun, remarked, “we (Microsoft Thailand) are very excited about this program because it will be the first wave of pioneering AI workforce which corresponds to Microsoft’s objective as well.” 

“We want to create innovators in Thailand to enhance the industrial sector capabilities, as well as to thrive on the creation of New S-Curve to Thai economy,” Mrs. Pronanun added.

Serving as a glimpse of the courses, AIT will utilize the “AIT Share” online platform for those interested in upskilling their skills in AI. The platform aims to deliver courses online while giving the students the same learning experience as classes taught inside a classroom that is simple and knowledgeable for individuals to grasp.