NECTEC Thailand AI

Nectec head targets national AI strategy (Bangkok Post)

After being recently reappointed executive director of the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (Nectec), Chai Wutiwiwatchai has vowed to usher in a national strategic plan for artificial intelligence (AI) usage and explore new tech frontiers, such as terahertz, quantum computing and the metaverse, to drive the country forward.

“Our mission is to build upstream digital technology as a core foundation for the country,” Mr Chai, who was originally appointed Nectec executive director in 2018, told the Bangkok Post.

His position is for a four-year term.

Nectec is a state organisation responsible for undertaking, supporting and promoting research and development (R&D) of electronics and computer technologies.

Mr Chai was the first Nectec executive director who came from the top job at Nectec’s research unit, and not from the office of deputy executive director.

He said Nectec is working with the Office of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission to put forth the national AI strategy plan, which is expected to be tabled at a cabinet meeting by April.

The plan covers AI usage for the tourism, medical and agricultural sectors.

“After the plan is approved by the cabinet, Nectec will join forces with multiple stakeholders to follow through on visions of this AI plan for the country’s economic development, such as reducing poverty and levelling up people’s quality of life and inclusion,” said Mr Chai.


The AI plan consists of four areas.

The first is to develop hard and soft infrastructure, covering high-performance computing, AI service platforms, government cloud and AI ethics. The second is to create 30,000 AI engineers within six years.

The third area concerns R&D for AI, such as the further development of the “AI for Thai” Thai AI service platform.

AI For Thai can be developed to analyse rice leaf images for plant disease in the farming sector and medical diagnosis for the healthcare sector. It can be developed as “AI for PA”, or AI for performance audit to support the work of the State Audit Office.

The fourth area involves the use of AI to power startups through collaboration with the National Innovation Agency, with priorities in health, food and agriculture, government services and digital solution fields.

According to Mr Chai, AI can be used to support the work of the Revenue Department, analyse policy outcomes, and evaluate projects.

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Bangkok Post

15 March 2022