This article is adapted from the original post on NXPO.
Photos by Australian National University
Dr. Soontharee Namliwal, a policy specialist from the International Policy Partnership Division the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO), took part in the AI for Social Good Summit with the theme “Strengthening Capabilities and Government Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific Summit” July 9-11, 2023 in Canberra, Australia.
The summit was co-organized by the Association for Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), and Australian National University (ANU).
Ms. Panchapawn Chatsuwan, a representative from Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) also attended the summit.
The summit served as a platform for participating organizations and policy researchers involved in APRU’s AI for Social Good project to share research findings and discuss issues emerging from the studies.
During the summit, the work of four projects was presented, with two each from Thailand and Bangladesh. The projects included: 1) Responsible Data Sharing, AI Innovation and Sandbox Development: Recommendations for Digital Health Governance in Thailand, 2) Raising Awareness of the Importance of Data Sharing and Exchange to Advance Poverty Alleviation in Thailand, 3) Mobilizing AI for Maternal Health in Bangladesh, and 4) AI in Pregnancy Monitoring: Technical Challenges for Bangladesh.
Joining the meeting virtually, the project leaders from Thailand – Dr. Kommate Jitvanichphaibool (NXPO Senior Division Director) and Dr. Suttipong Thajchayapong (NECTEC Senior Researcher) – delivered presentations on “Responsible Data Sharing, AI Innovation and Sandbox Development: Recommendations for Digital Health Governance in Thailand” and “Raising Awareness of the Importance of Data Sharing and Exchange to Advance Poverty Alleviation in Thailand”.
Apart from the research presentations, Dr. Soontharee shared information on Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) and provided a review of procedures and best practices regarding data collection, storage, usage and sharing in public health domain in developed countries. Ms. Panchapawn added information on the implication of standards and practices of PDPA on data collection, storage, usage and sharing of Thai People Map and Analytics Platform (TPMAP) which aims to support evidence-based policy.
The meeting also discussed the application of advanced technologies in sustainable development. Dr. Soontharee presented her viewpoints on this issue: 1) the necessity of root cause analysis on public issues, including poverty and social inequality, 2) the potential of advanced technologies, especially AI and big data, in improving public services including public health services, and 3) the importance of good governance, observing ethics of STI while harnessing their potential.
The representatives from NXPO and NECTEC took this opportunity to meet with the executives of ANU and network with researchers working on Humanising Machine Intelligence (HMI) Research Project and the team of the Global Research Network.
AI for Social Good project was initiated in 2021 to study the impact of AI development and application in the region. The UNESCAP and APRU, with funding from Google.org, established a multi-stakeholder network to provide support in the development of country-specific AI governance frameworks and national capabilities.