Thai telco True Corporation has unveiled its strategy for sustainable artificial intelligence (AI) adoption that includes new guidelines for ethical usage of the technology in Thailand.
At its “AI Gets Good” event last week, True made the case for how organizations and businesses can develop AI use cases and empower an AI-ready workforce whilst keeping high ethical standards in AI usage.
True Corp deputy CEO Sharad Mehrotra stressed that if Thailand wants to reap the promised benefits of AI and machine learning, ethics will be crucial to mitigating the inherent risks, which range from the amount of data being processed, the way it is collected to issues of bias and the impact of decisions made by machines.
“As AI keeps getting better and better at performing a range of tasks, we also need to ensure AI also gets better and better at performing these tasks ethically and safely,” Mehrotra said. “We believe an integrated approach that considers technology, people and ethics is critical for Thailand to harness the power of AI.”
Mehrotra said that ethical principles for AI usage guide should guide business operations to go beyond simply complying to the Personal Data and Protection Act. As an example, True has committed to its own AI charter outlining four principles for ethical usage:
- Good intent: AI should only be used to benefit humans.
- Fairness and bias mitigation: AI should not discriminate.
- Data privacy and AI functionality: Full respect for customer data and the law.
- Transparency: AI decisions should be explainable.
During a panel discission at the event, Dr. Chaichana Mitrpant, executive director of Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), commented that organizations need a framework for appropriate and transparent use of AI to minimize risk and adverse impact on users, as well as increase competitiveness and add value to Thailand’s digital economy.
“We must therefore ensure that the ecosystem for the country’s electronic transactions is reliable, secure, and instills confidence in usage,” he said.
“Artificial intelligence has significant potential to boost productivity and social improvement in Thailand. However, developing and deploying AI systems carelessly may also cause harm,” added Assistant Professor Dr. Jittat Fakcharoenphol, vice-chair of Kasetsart University’s Computer Engineering Department. “Therefore, it is crucial for corporations to adhere to principles like fairness and transparency when investing in AI development for societal benefit.”
True Corp is already using AI and ML in various applications, such as customer service. Currently, agents in True and Dtac shops and call centers use AI-powered solutions that instantly diagnose issues, make more relevant recommendations, and reduce handling times by 35%, Mehrotra said. AI-powered chatbots process 150,000 customer requests per month.
Mehrotra added that AI will enable 100% of True and Dtac shops to go paperless by 2023, and the company is planning to automate all routine tasks by2027.
True is also using ML in its networks to predict usage at individual sites in real time and switch off unused equipment during low-usage times, which reduces energy usage by 10-15%.
Meanwhile, True aims to accelerate AI adoption in Thailand by training “citizen developers” who can digitalize manual processes using simple tools that don’t require much (or any) coding skills. True plans to train up 200 citizen developers by 2027.