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What is missing from Thailand’s Deep Tech industry? Perspectives from NLP and Quantum Computing developers.

DIGITAL VENTURES October 12, 2018 1:14 PM

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As the world is introduced to the knowledge-based economy, each country moves forward with innovations in order to gain their competitive edge. Thailand has also become quite aware of this matter which resulted in Deep Technology development in an attempt to set foundations for new products and solutions. Digital Ventures believe that our readers would be interested in the current Deep Tech landscape in Thailand. We sat down with Thai Deep Tech researchers, InThai, a Thai language NLP developer and QuTe, a Thai researcher in Quantum Computing.

Current Deep Technology development and applications

Deep Technology development requires knowledge from complex in-depth theoretic research. For new studies, experiments, and researches to arrive at a tangible and applicable outcome, a lengthy period of time is consumed.

We may have heard that Deep Tech can potentially become industry disruptors. Yet, upon our conversation with QuTe and InThai, we received a broader and different point of view. 

Both QuTe and InThai are Deep Tech developers. Qute uses Quantum Computing which is rather a new innovation that requires physics theory research combined with computer knowledge. As for InThai, they are NLP developers. Although NLP is available for several other languages, NLP for a unique language like Thai will need to begin from the first step. It is not advisable to apply other languages’ processes as a reference. It is recommended to revisit Thai language theories as well as studies on AI application.

 

Quantum

 

As for Quantum Computing, QuTe mentions that theoretically, it is a tool that can complete complex tasks at a much faster speed when compared to today’s computers. An example is factorization of a large number which is the basics of today’s financial data encryption. With today’s computers, it may take months while quantum computers can complete it in a day. In the future, Quantum Computing shall be solving large systems such as complex molecule structures.

Nevertheless, Quantum Computing development is still in the early stage both in Thailand and abroad, both the knowledge and research are confined to a specific group of specialists. Therefore, a head start to study this technology can be quite advantageous.

 

InThai

 

InThai shares that NLP helps computers understands the human language. It allows technologies such as the AI to learn and do more. Therefore, an NLP in Thai will help computers accurately communicate the Thai language with Thais. This will open up opportunities and pathways for technology application for Thais as well as businesses in Thailand. (get to know more about NLP here).

Even with examples from other countries, NLP development is no simple task because each language has dissimilar complexities. Moreover, Thai language data for NLP learning is still rather limited when compared to other countries. NLP development involves the AI to learn legal documents from the countries using the language and study translated documents from international organizations in various languages. These are the data that can be used for AI learning. However, these documents are not available in Thai. Thus, developers lack data for the AI to learn. This process becomes more difficult and results in product delays when compared to other languages.

 

Problems and obstacles in Deep Technology development in Thailand

Not every development begins smoothly. Tech development in Thailand is also undergoing obstacles that are considered to be challenging. Both teams share their story.

  • Lack of further development and implementation. From past achievements, we see that Thai researchers have great skills and high standards. However, they lack support to further develop their works. As a result, they don’t have ownership over the technology and can’t move to the commercialize phase. This is observed in the Thai language NLP development segment as it lacks the support for it to become a career. Most developers driving the industry are volunteers, thus, a long period of time is used before a product is completed.
  • Deep Tech doesn’t attract support. As mentioned, Deep Tech requires in-depth theoretic research that consumes time and resources. Investors who seek short-term results, which are the expectations of most investors, are not quite interested.

Support isn’t only limited to the financial aspect, rather it involves open data or samples, infrastructures, and building communities for developers. This requires the understanding of investors as well as policy makers and high-ranking government officials.

 

The support that will bring about Deep Tech by Thai developers

Deep Tech developers in Thailand who understand the process and see actual problems share their ideas about the support that can bring about Deep Tech by Thai developers.

InThai is a Thai language NLP developer for basic and commercialized applications. They view that infrastructure support is important. A good cloud service in Thailand, as well as knowledge sharing both for developers and users, is needed so that mutual benefits are noticeable. Also, good Thai language data is needed as it is a significant factor that will speed up the completion of Thai language NLP products.

QuTe is a Thai researcher for Quantum Computing who continues to share knowledge regarding this technology in Thailand. They talked about Quantum Computing and Deep Tech that precise knowledge sharing and access to communities in other countries via collaborations are important. Also, time should be invested to build a strong ecosystem by making sure that developers, investors, and tech users understand the process and share the same picture in terms of next steps. 

From the perspectives of Deep Tech developers, we see that Thailand has the opportunity to take ownership of the technology if given proper and tangible support. InThai and QuTe are Deep Tech developers from U.REKA, a project supported by 7 leading Thai universities. The project emphasizes innovation on the basis of education and gives the chance to further develop Deep Tech via various support. We hope that organizations and entities who are interested in Deep Tech development can collaborate and become partners in an attempt to encourage Deep Tech development by Thais. Follow Digital Ventures for more stories about innovation development in Thailand.