Dtac launches AI Lab to make artificial intelligence

Dtac paid more than 12 million baht to launch Ai Lab at Thammasat University Rangsit University, with the help of faculty and students to develop artificial intelligence solutions.

Targeting is a creative space for educational opportunities and brainstorming on artificial intelligence in all fields of knowledge. Showcase the application of Ai to increase sales to dtac over 30%

Dr. UkritSalyapongs, Head of Channel Strategy & Performance Management Division, dtac said, “dtac is embracing AI due to changing consumer habits and a huge increase in available data. dtac customers produce 1 billion data sets per day and 75% of them use smartphones.”

Currently, dtac uses chatbots to respond to 20% of customer queries via Facebook and 30% of those via SMS. The response rate accuracy is 80%. And also uses AI for in-app recommendations, which now generates 30% of top-up sales.

Beyond automation, AIs can provide customers with real-time offers specifically tailored to their needs, not only in apps but in stores. dtac is therefore redesigning its shops to make the experience frictionless: salespersons use mobile devices, touchscreens convey real-time, interactive information.

Accenture stated that. : “65% of customers are more likely to shop at a retailer in-store or online that knows their purchase history.” This requires AI technology like facial recognition.

With the dtac SIIT AI Lab, both parties gain benefits: dtac will have top-notch researchers to become coach to developing talents to develop algorithm and AI to address business challenges.

Ai Lab

SIIT’s Professors and developing talents will have chance to work with real business data to practice their skills and take AI to the next level. Thailand will also benefit from producing more resources in AI to support national agenda

Dr. ThanarukTheeramunkong, Professor, Thammasat University said, “Tomorrow’s machine learning experts will need not only coding expertise but also a passion to find new ways to solve real-world problems. Find out how we can build a generation of AI masterminds to meet Thailand’s growing digital needs.”

In the near future, Artificial Intelligence will become a part of human life. Natural Language Processing will be key to enabling human-machine interactions. NLP consists of (1) processing incoming messages, (2) understanding them, and (2) responding back naturally and in context.

One interesting application that everyone has recently focused is Chatbots. A truly intelligent chatbot should have memory and ability to connect story and know the context, environment, and world situation.

Another interesting application is the AI ability to sift through vast amounts of data faster than a human. 2.5 million scholarly articles are published each year globally. Summarizing a pile of research is an extraordinarily difficult task and automated process will help us find relationship among them and connect them.

By analyzing massive amounts of data, AI can also help detect fake news or support disaster prevention.

Our greatest challenge is how to share knowledge and skill efficiently. How to make the learner have self-awareness, self-motivation, and behavioral skill to implement that knowledge appropriately, rather than just possessing facts?

The dtac SIIT AI Lab allows us to connect students with real-world data to foster a new generation of data scientist that understands actual business cases. The AI Lab is a place for everyone, where teachers can teach but also students can learn from one another.

NardrerdeeArj-harnwongse, Chief People Officer, dtac said, With machine learning profoundly changing how we work, dtac’s head of HR shares how strengths-based development can foster digital talents in large organizations.

According to McKinsey, more than 50% of companies either have adopted some AI technology or are experimenting with it. But while AIs are making some jobs obsolete, they create jobs, too. More importantly, they will change almost all our jobs. So no matter what field you’re in, what is guaranteed in the coming years is a rapid rate of change.

At dtac, we therefore have a double challenge stemming from AI. Transforming our business and transforming our people. Unlike some of the tech companies in Thailand with tens or hundreds of employees, dtac has thousands. Changing the culture of 4,000 people is difficult and time consuming.

The first step for dtac was to show that, actually, digital transformation comes from people. What is the problem customers are facing, or that you are facing? Can you make a hypothesis? Can you prototype it with pen and paper and test it out on real people? Can you work with people outside of your field to grow your project? Are you entrepreneurial enough to drive an initiative like that? Are you OK with failing?”

To encourage these new behaviors, we’ve completely changed how we review and reward employees to focus on what they’d good at. We help them study in the fields they’re interested in. We have dropped annual reviews based on KPIs. And we help them turn their strengths into talents.

Ai Lab

Ultimately, the biggest change AI is bringing to work is that organizations are becoming more client centric, rather than process driven. And by becoming client centric, they are also becoming employee centric. Employee centricity means you’re at the center, not in a chain of command.

In a workplace where people contribute as people, not as parts of a big machine, they can’t be replaced as easily. They can compete with AI with their creativity and humanity.

In the future, we will need a lot of data scientists and machine learning experts to support our business.But building an organization that is ready for AI isn’t just about hiring data scientists.It’s a culture change that puts the focus on the customers, the employee and on projects.

Dr. Winn Voravuthikunchai, Data Scientist, Telenor said, “The renowned creator of Bot Noi is behind some of Thailand’s most used chatbots. He shares his secrets to building empathetic artificial intelligences that can support those who need it most.”

There is an almost infinite need for answers / limited number of experts, leading to social concerns. The UN says we need 69 million additional teachers globally by 2030, and the WHO says we need 12.9 million additional health workers. So we need also need help from machine experts to fill the gap.

Although there are many questions being asked to a limited number of experts, many people ask the same questions. For example, when we sampled 200,000 questions dtac received via its call center, we found that they could be answered with only 5,000 answers.

The challenge is therefore not so much answering 5,000 questions, the challenge is to match the 200,000 questions to the 5,000 answers. This is what we call consolidation.

The AI needs to understand how to connect a huge variety of questions to a limited amount of answers. It needs to understand that two questions that look different are in fact the same.

That’s why AIs are particularly critical to at risk populations, such as migrants, the elderly and children. Those populations are more likely to have low literacy, to speak in a different slang, to make spelling mistakes, or to have low digital competency. They struggle with traditional forms of knowledge and only a human expert or AI can communicate with them.

With a chatbot, they can get answers very quickly and easily. Moreover, a chatbot can make you feel less judged than if you talk to a human. And it can even show more empathy than a human. That’s why I started Botnoi.

It has 1.2 million followers, 10 million interactions/day. It speaks several languages, understands slang and sarcasm. It has context, memory, empathy. All those things make a good bot.

Bots can therefore be a powerful tool to help the society. That’s why we’re launching Policenoi in partnership with dtac’sPlikThai project. In one survey, 85% of young people in Thailand said they witnessed domestic violence.

With Policenoi, victims of domestic abuse, from women to children, will be able to talk to a friendly advisor without having to go into a police station and facing someone who is not necessarily trained to deal with their specific problem.

AI is an opportunity, not a threat. AIs can free up time for human experts to better help people. Currently there are 0.47 doctors per 1,000 people in Thailand. Classes can have up to 50 children per teacher. We don’t need to replace experts, we need to help them.

With this new AI Lab, I hope dtac and Thammasat can help grow a new generation of data scientists and machine learning experts to build the AIs we all need, in particular for underprivileged segments of Thai society.