Thursday, 20 June 2024

KBTG confident of its M.A.D. capabilities, advancing from AI-first to human-first

5 min read

KASIKORN Business-Technology Group (KBTG) is moving forward with its plan to become an "AI-first" organisation, expanding its capabilities and aspiring to be the leader in the machine learning, AI, and data (M.A.D.) landscape of Thailand.

Ruangroj Poonpol, group chairman of KBTG, said: "Driven by the 'AI-first organisation' notion, KBTG is advancing the organisation by prioritising AI development in two key areas: research and real-world applications. This acknowledges that advanced deep tech is meaningless if it cannot be applied to create benefits for the broader community, reflecting the 'human-first' approach. Therefore, KBTG emphasises research and application, while also driving the enhancement of technological potential in terms of M.A.D. and dissemination of knowledge for upskilling personnel in Thailand."

KBTG’s M.A.D. research works are created to world-class standards thanks to KBTG Labs, with one of Thailand’s largest teams of AI researchers and developers. Their in-house research covers areas such as facial recognition, computer vision, NLP (natural language processing) and deep learning to ensure the quality and the compatibility with business requirements of KBank, KBTG and partners. In 2023, six KBTG Labs’ M.A.D. research works were published globally, and support was given to  Pat Pataranutaporn, the first Thai Ph.D. student at MIT Media Lab and a KBTG Fellow, for a research paper titled, “Influencing human-AI interaction by priming beliefs about AI can increase perceived trustworthiness, empathy and effectiveness,” which was published in Nature Machine Intelligence.

KBTG Labs has also joined forces with MIT Media Lab, a world-renowned interdisciplinary research lab, for co-research works on new technologies, for example, “Future You”, which simulates the user’s future self and can engage in real-time interactions, and “Kookid” – AI thought partners who provide multi-perspective advice on various subjects, based on trusted and verifiable references, with AI-generated Nong Kana and Nong Kacha who will give answers from different viewpoints for the most efficient decision-making. Kookid, scheduled for launch in 2024, has been developed from K-GPT research (Knowledge-GPT), using the abilities of ChatGPT to provide specific and in-depth knowledge and be compatible with the Thai language.

Incorporating research findings into practice: KBTG has applied M.A.D. technologies and research findings to various products and services of KBank, including marketing intelligence, credit intelligence and fraud intelligence, as well as call centre service. The use of these technologies in such data processing and analytics is valued at more than $14 million. Additionally, KBTG has employed various technologies to boost the operational efficiency of its developers, such as Copilot to double employees' coding capabilities and the establishment of M.A.D. Guild within the organisation to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing, thus making AI more accessible and approachable for KBTG personnel.

Furthermore, there have been advancements in utilising AI technology derived from research to develop products and services that foster growth for companies. These include commercialisation through KX for financial partners and business operators in other industries, such as AINU’s verification technology and Car AI’s technology for assessing the condition of damaged vehicles from photographs for the insurance business. 

Dissemination of knowledge both inside and outside the organisation: KBTG is committed to enhancing M.A.D. capabilities within Thailand through the M.A.D. Bootcamp programme under the KBTG Kampus ClassNest. This programme is geared towards IT personnel wishing to improve their M.A.D. skills, enabling them to learn and thrive together. Additionally, KBTG has supported the AI community to organise various activities related to M.A.D., including sharing best practices and lessons learned from direct experiences within KBTG through KBTG Techtopia and other events in the upcoming year.

Ruangroj noted in closing: “In 2024, KBTG will continue to drive technologies with M.A.D., moving forward from ‘AI-first’ to ‘human-first’, aimed at enabling the practical application of these innovations. Apart from working through KBTG Labs, KBTG has launched KXVC – a $100 million flagship fund targeting AI, Web3, and deep tech. The KXVC fund is geared up for investment in fintech startups and AI funds worldwide, serving as a gateway to introduce new AI technologies and foreign capital inflows to the country. Additionally, KBTG is ready to collaborate with business partners both at home and abroad to enhance M.A.D. capabilities, while adopting its research work to develop products that are accessible to the public.”

All of these endeavours reinforce KBTG’s determination to become the leader in M.A.D. and drive the application of deep tech research for the benefit of people in society and the country accordingly.

KBTG is moving forward with its plan to become an “AI-first” organisation, expanding its capabilities and aspiring to be the leader in the M.A.D. landscape of Thailand.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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