IoA’s Dr Clare Walsh to Push for AI Pro-innovation at Thailand’s Techsauce Global Summit

  • Published: 14 Aug 2023

Dr Clare Walsh, Director of Education at the Institute of Analytics (IoA), is part of the prestigious, British Embassy-sponsored team invited to speak at this year's Techsauce Global Summit taking place in Bangkok from 16th - 17th August. She will also be meeting with members of the Thai Government and the Digital Trade network for Thailand to focus on integrating  value-based governance and regulation as Thailand prepares to implement their national AI Strategy.

Commenting on her involvement, Dr Walsh explains:

“AI knows no borders, so we need to approach this fast-moving technology as a global community rather than individual countries. It’s about sharing knowledge and finding best practice that works for everyone. We must develop proportional responses to the threats AI poses to ensure that legislation does not deter small players from data upskilling. We don't want to consolidate the power of existing monopolies in this field any further.' We also need to think about how to get better data. AI relies on data, and the data should reflect the myriad of people who make up this world and not just those inputting into its technical development.

“Our collaboration over the week in Thailand will help the country ensure its AI strategy is one that focuses on making the world a better place. AI is only as good as the humans working with it, who need to be mindful of the historical data and check its robustness. For example, if you are introducing a new drug, it is important that any trials use a relevant cross-section of those people who will be taking it. It has only been a number of years since the UK introduced a framework of best practices to ensure drug trials include both men and women – in the past, there has been a bias towards testing only on men. If we don't have adequate research data on female response to drugs or the differences in how health conditions like heart attacks present in women, then when we train an AI on that patchy data, we exacerbate the problems of misdiagnosis for women.”

Dr Walsh will also focus on how AI works rather than just how to implement it. Whilst she is a huge advocate of its positive power, she also is the voice of reason. 

“AI is not always intelligent” she maintains. “There will always be the need for properly-trained humans to question anything produced by AI. We need to ensure that people are given the confidence and ability to question the data within every industry where AI is being considered.”

However, she advocates that when AI gets it right its benefits are immeasurable, citing the example of the UK’s DeepMind programme and its Alpha Fold algorithm  that predicts how amino acids will unfold into the 3D structure of proteins – one of the fundamental challenges in biology. By solving this challenge, our understanding of human health and disease has been dramatically deepened, especially within areas such as drug design. It is able to computationally predict protein structures with unprecedented accuracy and speed.

Summarising, Dr Walsh said:

“I am excited about finding out how Thailand is setting out its AI agenda for the positive, learning from the Thai teams and, together, understanding how we can anticipate problems so as to avoid doing any harm. I shall be offering the Thai government access to the IoA’s Schools Programme which is a free curriculum resource to help school-age students better understand the impact of AI on the world and how they can use it for good in whatever career they choose. It’s not just data scientists who will need to be fluent in data in the very near future.”

To find out how the IoA can support the ethical use of AI in your organisation, and how we can help ensure your data and non-data teams have the right skills for tomorrow, please email hello@ioaglobal.org

More details about Techsauce can be found at https://summit.techsauce.co/