Bangkok, 18 August 2023 – The United Kingdom champions global technological innovation, and is a world leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Recognising its capacity to transform lives, and in accordance with the UK’s International Technology Strategy, the British Embassy held its first ever UK AI Week in Bangkok, a dynamic four-day event from 15 to 18 August 2023. The programme highlighted UK capabilities, provided a forum for the two countries to discuss AI governance and applications across multiple areas and, ultimately, helped deepen our growing relationship with Thailand.
Policy Roundtable: 15 August, [Eastin Grand Hotel Phayathai] The week kicked off with a high-level policy roundtable bringing together key stakeholders from both nations. Representing the UK were experts from the Alan Turing Institute, The Institute of Analytics, Surrey Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Experts and policymakers engaged in thought-provoking discussions on regulation and governance, investment and incentives, the potential impact of AI across various sectors, and the use of AI as a force for good.
AI Week Reception: 15 August, [Ambassador’s Residence] In the evening, the Embassy held a reception at the Ambassador’s residence, attended by our UK experts and businesses, Thai government officials and multilateral organisations, including UNESCO. This provided an opportunity to welcome our visitors to Thailand, set out the UK strategy on AI and facilitate the building of new relationships.
GREAT Pavilion at the TechSauce Global Summit: 16 to 17 August, [Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre] Nine British AI and data businesses joined the GREAT Pavilion at the Techsauce Global Summit, attended by more than 15,000 tech experts, investors and businesses. UK commercial capabilities on show spanned multiple sectors including agriculture, finance, climate, design and cyber security. During the event the UK ran an hour and a half of workshops – delivered by our experts – covering AI in health, public services and on developing an effective national AI strategy. Our businesses and experts were also on stage at various points throughout the programme, including to join discussions on climatetech, femtech, air quality and pitch to local VCs. Finally, the UK delegates delivered a session on the opportunities of trade digitalisation, trailing our upcoming pilot spanning the UK, Thailand and Singapore. This was the first time the UK has taken a delegation to Techsauce. The UK Pavilion, workshops and panel discussions were popular with attendees from all over the region. The UK will be progressing business and government leads over the coming weeks and months.
Natalie Black, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific delivered an opening remark said:
Last week, the UK held the first ever UK AI Week Bangkok, where experts and government convened to discuss the future of AI. Nine British AI businesses also exhibited at TechSauce Global Summit, where they demonstrated their innovations.
With over 160 unicorns and a tech sector worth $1 trillion, the UK looks forward to offering our expertise and partnership in developing AI for good. I am excited to see deepening tech collaborations between our two countries.
Turing Night Film Screening: 18 August, [Icon Siam] Concluding the week the British Embassy Bangkok organised ‘Turing Night’ attended by over 150 government officials, tech businesses and investors. The event included an exhibition, networking reception, panel discussion on AI and film screening of the Imitation Game. It provided the opportunity to reflect on the developments in computing since the cracking of the Enigma Code in the 1940s and build a platform for collaboration on AI applications and governance with partners in the region.
David Thomas, British Charge d’Affaires to Thailand, remarked:
UK AI Week epitomises the modern spirit of collaboration between UK and Thailand, fostering innovation, and advancing free and ethical AI development. Through engaging with experts, businesses and public in Thailand, the UK is keen to work more with Thailand in charting a course towards a future where AI serves as a force for good and mutual benefits.