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9 Feb 2023

Econ Digest

Keep an eye on…AI Chatbot technology, a new type of business helper.


        A new type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that interacts in written language is becoming a worldwide phenomenon, as it is an AI that combines language models and big data processing systems to interact with users in written language. Such AI acts like an assistant, gathering the information that users need in a language that is easy to understand and communicate. This differs from search engines where users must compile their own language from the information obtained by searching and selecting various sources. Examples of such technologies include ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) launched in November 2022, Bard AI launched in February 2023, and Ernie Bot being expected to launch in March 2023, and others that will be developed accordingly. In the future, the benefits of using the AI technology may extend beyond interacting with the user, such as AI videos, cooking classes, investment advice, tax management, shopping, creating art, and creating content in a variety of formats, etc. Based on the user feedback and movements of global technology companies above, it reflects the highly competitive nature of the technology services market, and not only at the business level or involving major advertising revenues, but also for the national competition between the United States and China for global technological leadership.

        In addition to ethical and data security issues, Kasikorn Research Center has views on the coming of the AI technology that interacts in written language as follows:

  • At the business level, software developers and service providers in Thailand tend to use this AI technology for business extension and integration as a tool to help businesses. In fact, companies or people can use the AI technology that interacts in written language in a variety of tasks on their own; they just need to learn and apply it to potentially different situations and contexts. For example, to get a more in-depth answer, you may need to ask a specific question otherwise the answer will be too broad; or if you want the AI technology to help in any aspect of the system, you may need to expand or change the question several times to get accurate information, etc.
  • Therefore, in the next phase, we are likely to see manufacturers and developers of package software in Thailand applying the AI technology that interacts in written language to various tools to offer products and services to meet more customer needs, including content production, work system planning, marketing design, sales, accounting, customer contact, back office system management, etc. These applications will all focus on improving efficiency and reducing operational costs for the customer's business, and the fees for the application of such tools must reflect the value or not be too costly. Currently the package software (except packaged game software) market in Thailand has 2,077 service providers that are legal entities with total operating revenue of approximately THB24,457 million in 20211 .
  • Implementing the AI technology that interacts in written language shall help save time and improve the efficiency in business operations, especially in uncomplicated tasks. However, the success or cost-effectiveness of using AI technology that interacts in written language, either on your own or through tools developed by package software developers, still depends on several conditions: both internal factors such as efficiency and cost advantages compared to labor or other equipment investments; and external factors such as the fast-changing and complicated behaviors of target customers, relevant regulations, economic and social environment, and the advancement of AI technologies in dynamic global developments. Therefore, we must keep an eye on how the AI technology can change the face of work in various fields in Thailand. The question is how much or how quickly?
  • While it may be too early to definitively conclude the impact on business, at the national economic level, it is undeniable that the AI technology that interacts in written language is one of the tools that may enhance business competitiveness, reduce inequality or address labor shortages, especially as Thailand approaches a declining population situation and becomes a fully aging society. At the same time, in terms of impact, the use of this technology may replace jobs in various fields, with disruptive effects not only on many businesses, but also on the economy and society.
  • To address the opportunities and challenges at hand, all sectors should accelerate their adaptation and support the application of this technology as appropriate to the country's economic and legal situation, while finding ways to accommodate the labor sectors and businesses that will experience the disruptive effects. There is also a need to overhaul the education system and develop the country’s workforce skills in light of future job changes caused by many factors. All of which are important things that should be accelerated now.
Source: Department of Business Development as of February 6, 2023

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