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KBTG demonstrates its readiness to be an “AI-First Company”

As a flag bearer for Thailand’s leading technology company, KBTG positions itself at the forefront of the new wave of technology, especially artificial intelligence or AI. KBTG strongly believes in AI  that be able to make a global impact. However, transforming the world cannot be accomplished by KBTG alone. It necessitates the entire KBTG ecosystem. Therefore, KBTG hosts “KBTG Techtopia Across the AI-Verse” event.

The “KBTG Techtopia Across the AI-Verse” event is KBTG’s initiative to create a space where everyone is invited to collectively envision the future. With 38 partners from around the world, including countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Israel, KBTG believes that AI will enhance human potential and make every possibility achievable.

The world in the next decade will see advancements far greater than those of the past 50 years.

To become a successful “AI-First Company” and have a broad impact, KBTG understands that it cannot achieve this goal alone. It must be a collective effort that extends throughout the entire ecosystem. AI is not just about technology companies; it involves all participants in the tech industry and beyond.

In this event, KBTG invited partners from various industries to come together and enthusiastically update themselves on becoming an AI-First Company. These partners include technology giants like Adobe, AWS, Google, and Microsoft, who have developed and integrated Generative AI technology into their core products and services. For example, Adobe Firefly, which simplifies design for everyone, Microsoft Azure AI Content Safety Services, or Google’s incorporation of AI into Google Workspace (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Collaborative Content Creation Tools, and Google Meet), among others.

Furthermore, there are partners within the AI ecosystem who shared insights into the roles and significance of AI in various contexts. These include the use of AI to enhance work efficiency, AI’s role in the cybersecurity context, how AI can boost software development, AI’s role in the Web 3.0 landscape, AI’s involvement with opportunities like Prompt Engineers and the Prompt Marketplace, and AI’s role in major industries such as healthcare, finance, and retail.

Additionally, discussions revolve around ethical considerations in AI usage, effective coexistence, improved quality of life, and happiness between humans and AI, as well as opportunities for startups focused on AI investments.

KBTG has also been actively involved in AI research and development through its KBTG Lab team, collaborating with key partners like MIT Media Lab. They have achieved significant milestones, progressing from the Proof of Concept stage. KBTG is showcasing the remarkable capabilities of AI they have been working on, including promising research projects that are ready to make their way into the commercial market.

KBTG is on the path of AI-First Transformation

The world has transitioned from the era of Mobile-First to the era of AI-First. Many businesses are stepping into becoming what’s known as an AI-First company, which means they prioritize using AI technology at the core of their operations. One of these companies is KBTG.

Kasikorn Bank (KBank) and KBTG are leaders in the Mobile-First era, with impressive achievements that have impacted over 20 million users and facilitated financial transactions exceeding 23 trillion baht, surpassing Thailand’s GDP.

They declared their readiness to become AI-First companies since 2019, aligning with Kasikorn Bank’s vision of Cognitive Banking. Presently, they are actively engaged in data-driven transformation, automation-first transformation, and AI-first transformation, demonstrating their commitment to embracing AI technology in their operations.

Ruangroj Poonpol, the Chairman of Kasikorn Business-Technology Group (KBTG), has emphasized that one of the keys to KBTG’s success is not just AI alone but MAD, which is a fusion of machine learning, AI, and data. MAD represents the AI landscape at KBTG, and it is applied across all processes and tasks within the organization.

KBTG has utilized machine learning in various ways. This includes creating opportunities to reach new customers for credit services, offering products tailored to customer needs, suggesting new products, and providing promotions that align with customer preferences. Additionally, AI has been applied in their business operations, such as using AI Chatbots in the call center to enhance customer interactions.

Currently, KBTG has a substantial portfolio of AI products ready for market release. An example of this is AINU, which is a technology designed for identity verification and counterfeit detection.

In addition to that, KBTG has been collaborating with MIT Media Lab since last year, conducting joint research that has resulted in a Proof of Concept (PoC) called “Future You.” They have also introduced research initiatives like “คู่คิด,” which involves an AI Chatbot using K-GPT. Furthermore, KBTG has been actively involved in AI research and has published numerous research works in top-tier international journals and newspapers. This includes studies on the interaction between humans and AI and exploring the role of AI in neuroscience.

For data usage, KBTG prioritizes user privacy protection. They leverage data to develop AI systems capable of explaining their decision-making processes. However, they also maintain a delicate balance between data security and flexibility to foster innovation. This ensures that while they harness the power of data-driven insights, they do so responsibly and ethically, respecting user privacy.

KBTG’s AI ecosystem comprises several key components:

KBTG Lab: This research unit focuses on AI research and collaborates with prestigious institutions like MIT Media Lab.

KBTG Kampus: This division works closely with national research institutions and leading universities in Thailand, fostering innovation and research.

AI Venture Builder (KX): KX is an AI venture builder, and it plays a significant role in KBTG’s AI initiatives.

The significant opportunities for new-generation AI-first startups.

The world will never be the same again, all thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). It has transformed the world into a MAD (Machine Learning, AI, and Data) world, where everyone can be a graphic designer using AI. Similarly, anyone can become a musician or a film producer using AI. Today, you can see and hear songs created by AI, and anyone can become an interior designer with the assistance of AI.

In the future, AI that closely resembles humans will be so advanced that it will be difficult to distinguish between human-generated and AI-generated voices.

For example. at events like Google Cloud in San Francisco, you will even have the option to send an AI bot to represent you, highlighting the growing capabilities and integration of AI into various aspects of our lives.

“Imagine that in less than 10 years from now, children will be able to design spacecraft using AI, sequence genes using AI, and fulfill their dreams in ways our generation could never have imagined. All of this is thanks to AI, which creates endless possibilities for the next generation,” said Ruangroj.

Within KBTG, several AI projects collaborate closely with influential figures in AI like Andrew Ng, who has recently launched an AI-focused fund. He emphasizes that AI is a technology with widespread benefits and simplifies its utilization into two main directions.

The first approach is to create companies, and the recently launched funds for investing in AI-focused companies aim to co-found businesses that leverage AI technology to solve specific industry-specific long-tail problems.

This is currently the best time to start AI-driven startups that can address challenges within various industries. With substantial investments available and significant opportunities, it’s a tremendous new opportunity for new-generation startups known as AI-First Startups.

“In the not-so-distant future, we believe we will see unicorn startups with as few as 10 team members. These will be the new breed of startups, focused on Generative AI. In the past two quarters alone, Generative AI startups have produced five unicorns and attracted a total of 590 startups, raising a combined $9.4 billion,” said Ruangroj.

The current AI wave is indeed real, marking the beginning of an era where AI is used to address specific challenges, especially in education and public health. Many countries are entering an aging society and facing severe labor shortages. AI has the potential to greatly enhance the capabilities of doctors, enabling them to care for patients more effectively, potentially up to ten times better than before.

KBTG collaborates with MIT Media Lab to create AI-powered characters that serve as personalized coaches or virtual doctors, providing guidance and consultation in the field of public health.

The next wave is likely to be dominated by niche industries. Forward-thinking technologists are approaching industry-specific challenges and solving them using AI technology.

The potential of Generative AI lies in its ability to combine various AI capabilities to learn from vast amounts of data from multiple sources, enhancing its understanding and readiness for application in various contexts.

Large companies like Coca-Cola and Starbucks have used Generative AI in conjunction with other AI technologies for business purposes. Additionally, many large consulting firms, such as PwC, BCG, and McKinsey & Company, have developed and utilized AI extensively.

Humans and AI for a Better Human Life

Definition of AI has evolved over time. AI was initially defined as an attempt to simulate human intelligence and capabilities, dating back to the 1950s. However, machine learning, which is a subset of AI, has become a significant driving force in recent years, leading to the development of highly capable AI systems.

Today, AI encompasses a broad range of technologies and approaches, including machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and more, all aimed at creating intelligent systems that can perform tasks, solve problems, and make decisions like humans, and in some cases, even surpass human capabilities.

Let’s take a look at how machine learning works to improve human lives, using the example of seizures, a condition that poses a greater threat to people’s lives than accidents.

Machine learning is a technology that enables computers to learn from data and perform tasks or make assessments without needing extensive programming.

AI can indeed be a valuable tool in healthcare by leveraging wearable devices equipped with IoT (Internet of Things) components and sensors.

When training machine learning models, especially large language models, with personal data and individual behavior data from patients (gold-standard labeled data), the process involves combining the data captured from devices with extensive databases sourced from experts. This combination aims to analyze whether patients exhibit signs of seizures

This research project has transitioned into the commercial market under the brand Empatica. There have been real-world use cases where the technology proved invaluable, such as when a mother discovered her daughter experiencing a seizure and not breathing during sleep, thanks to alerts sent by the Empatica device. This enabled the mother to intervene and potentially save her daughter’s life.

It’s evident that AI alone cannot guarantee the safety of a small child. In this case, it was the mother herself who played a crucial role in saving her child’s life. Therefore, the collaboration between AI and humans can significantly benefit and enhance human life.

Furthermore, AI also possesses the capability to understand human emotions through facial expressions, discerning how individuals are feeling, whether they are happy, sad, satisfied, or dissatisfied. This ability to comprehend human emotions extends beyond just processing data; it involves understanding face-to-face interactions with humans on a deeper level.

AI has become more emotionally intelligent, gaining an understanding of context through human facial expressions and interpreting the context of the environment based on lighting and colors in the surroundings.

AI and EI will bring even greater benefits to humanity, but individuals from all expertise backgrounds must actively participate in the development of AI to make it more efficient and improve human lives.

Showcases of AI technology from KBTG

At the KBTG Techtopia Across the AI-Verse event, the team of developers from KBTG Labs showcased various AI research projects. One of these projects was the CCTV Analytics technology, which takes input from motion-sensing closed-circuit television cameras.

This AI system analyzes the behavior of people captured in the video footage. It was tested in certain branches of Kasikornbank (KBank) to count people and observe their movements within the video.

The goal was to use this data for analyzing and improving the layout and service offerings in those branches. This analytical approach can be adapted to various industries that require this type of analysis, such as restaurants, for example.

Next in line is the car condition-checking model, which uses images of cars as input data. AI analyzes the condition of the cars, which can be used for car insurance applications and claims.

This technology is expected to be put into practical use in the near future.

The technology for identity verification using facial recognition and ID card checking has been developed by KBTG Labs and brought to the commercial market under the service name AINU (pronounced “I-new”).

AINU is a product that offers verification and identification services, including extracting data from ID cards using OCR (Optical Character Recognition), preventing impersonation through Liveness Detection, and preventing fraud through Face Recognition. AINU provides technology SDKs (Software Development Kits) and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for Digital Banking customers, and this service is already available.

The Smart Check-Out technology for department stores and supermarkets utilizes AI to analyze photographs and calculate the prices of products from a database. When products are placed on the checkout counter, cameras capture images, and the AI extracts information from the product database to calculate the prices of each item, as well as the total amount due. It’s important to note that this technology is currently a proof of concept (PoC) and has not been deployed for practical use.

In the context of Wealth Management, machine learning is being utilized to provide customers with recommendations for stocks and funds. However, this functionality is still in the development stage within KBTG Labs.

It requires customer data, historical stock and fund data spanning 8-10 years, and investment strategies or portfolio allocation algorithms. These inputs are used to calculate investment recommendations for customers. Additionally, economic data from various regions and news updates will be incorporated into AI training. It is anticipated that this system will be put into practical use by the end of the year 2024.

In the realm of Thai natural language processing (NLP), KBTG is working on creating a chatbot named “น้องรวงข้าว” (Little Rice Field). This chatbot utilizes Generative AI, and one of its significant advantages is its ability to engage in smooth and natural conversations, much more so than the current version used in K Bank Live. The current chatbot tends to provide responses in template-based formats and can be quite lengthy.

This research project aims to make “น้องรวงข้าว” interact with customers in a way that feels like talking to a real person. This will make customers more inclined to engage with the chatbot rather than calling the Call Center. “น้องรวงข้าว” will offer general advice, such as financial consultations, credit card recommendations, and preliminary credit assessments, among others. It’s important to note that “น้องรวงข้าว” is still in the development phase.

KBTG is working on a Video Analytics system that utilizes AI to analyze videos. This system can extract spoken conversations from videos and determine how many people are speaking, what each person is saying, their interactions, and the emotional tone of their speech. It can also transcribe spoken words into text and further analyze the content to understand the sentiment within the video. This includes identifying any offensive or inappropriate language.

It’s important to note that this system is currently in development and has not yet been released for commercial use.

“Future You” is an application that utilizes AI trained with large language models to create a virtual version of yourself in the future, allowing you to have conversations with your future self. It begins by inputting your personal information and your envisioned future. The system then generates two types of prompts: one about your current life story and the other about your future life story.

This technology essentially enables users to engage in conversations with a virtual representation of themselves from the future, providing a unique and personalized experience. It can be used for various purposes, including setting goals, self-reflection, and exploring potential life paths.

The development path of AI technology at KBTG and its partnerships continue to extend into the future, where there are still many opportunities and challenges ahead. Everyone has the opportunity to collaborate in creating new possibilities and opportunities in a future that the world has never seen before, with the help of MAD (Multi-AI Domain). This reflects the ongoing commitment of KBTG to advancing AI technology and its commitment to exploring uncharted territories in the world of technology.

KBTG organized the KBTG Techtopia Across the AI-Verse event with the hope that everyone takes away more than just inspiration. The event aimed to provide knowledge, wisdom, and foster connections among individuals. Together, attendees were encouraged to imagine the future and collaborate using AI technology to create new possibilities for the next generation. This event exemplifies KBTG’s commitment to advancing AI technology and fostering a collective vision for the future.

Some people liken AI to electricity, while others describe AI as the breath of life. Just like everyone breathes to sustain life and create endless possibilities, AI has the potential to enhance and transform various aspects of our lives. Encouraging children to engage with AI is crucial because they belong to the AI-First Generation, and they will play a significant role in shaping the future of AI and its impact on society.



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