‘Beyond the limits’ in the chase for digital transformation
Solving complex problems like the PM2.5 pollution, urban traffic jams and other social issues requires more detailed analytical tools and technologies, said Professor Dr Suchatvee Suwansawat, president of King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL). He quotes Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
That, he said, it why KMITL is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in three ways.
The school is adopting AWS cloud content “AWS Educate” and “AWS Academy” in its education curriculum, applying cloud-based technology such as AI, IoT and ML in its research and development to confront social and economic challenges, and it’s aiming to be the central training hub in digital innovation for Thai startups.
In a policy statement titled “60th Anniversary: KMITL Goes Beyond the Limits”, the university said it will remove boundaries to foster teamwork, enabling students in different faculties to study the findings of others. It will encourage students to believe they can always do their best. And it has invited Akira Yoshino, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for designing the first safe, production-viable lithium-ion battery that’s now used widely in cell phones and notebook computers, to teach at Satit Prajomklao. For people who wish to learn, it said, there will be “no limit”. Youngsters and the elderly alike will be able to study at KMITL. One non-degree programme that’s attracted broad interest is in computer coding, robotics and AI. Anyone who’s interested – and not already enrolled in a related faculty – can take classes for free at True Digital Park every Friday-Sunday for three months.
Transforming Thai education requires the collaboration of all stakeholders, from government to private enterprise to universities and tech service providers, Suchatvee said. To jump-start the process, KMITL believes that AWS, with its highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud powering hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries, will provide the hot-wire. It offers a wide range of products and content and free tiers for the public and educators that can benefit all Thais who want to improve their skills to help build the digital economy.
“We all are in the cloud generation – in entertainment, games, design, e-commerce on consumer perspective – but the young generation, with more energy and creativity, can be co-creators in the cloud and find workable solutions and build up the ecosystem in the long run,” said Vincent Quah, the director for Asia-Pacific and Japan at AWS. He encourages Thais to “get excited” about being a part of the solution and to “take ownership” and to contribute to building a better society and sustainable world.
Quah pointed to AWS DeepRacer, the first autonomous-scale car specifically developed to help developers get hands-on with reinforcement learning (RL), experiment with new RL algorithms and simulation-to-real domain transfer methods, and experience RL in the real world.
He said graduate students in Thailand lack required skills in digital business using AI/ML/cloud, even amid rapid growth in cloud revenue for AWS, up 34 per cent year-on-year.
“Build on Thailand” is a hackathon event for Southeast Asian youngsters collaborating on solutions in technology-related field. AWS will fly the Thai winners to the Asian Final in Singapore next October to present their solutions.
Rutchanee Gullayanon, KMITL’s director of research and innovation services, spoke about “Business Brotherhood for Startups”, which the government supports, a model to attract big corporations to provide guidance, brainstorm ideas, create business model and back technologies supported by the AWS cloud platform. AWS is training KMITL educators to teach advanced certificate courses in the AWS Academy. Corporate business models are rapidly changing and adapted to shifts in consumer lifestyles. Outsourcing from experienced and successful startups in line with market movement is needed.