Digital Thailand Big Bang 2017 expo

The past week I had to opportunity to go on a university field trip to the Digital Thailand Big Bang 2017 expo at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani. The expo is held under to concept of “Digital Transformation Thailand” the expo gives the opportunity for companies to showcase their technology and innovations which have potential to revolutionize Thailand and strive in the so called the digital 4.0 generation.

What Caught my attention the most was the virtual reality corner or VR what fascinated was not the machine itself but the concept of it and how we as a species were getting closer and closer to augmented reality. The booth also showcased the previous breakthroughs and within less than a decade of development VR has now become what it is today. As of now VR head sets are still quite costly since they are still relatively new. However I look forward in the future when they become cheaper and more accessible to the general public. I am very interested in seeing how they will be integrated in our daily lives and how society will cope with the new technology.

Another company that I was really fascinated by was EGA or the Electronic Government Agency under the supervision of the Digital Economy and Society Ministry. The company aims at developing ICT infrastructure service related government affairs. EGA role is about development, research and provide E government infrastructure services. What this means is that the company is focused on promoting the capability of government to boost efficient public management and provide people with quality government-based services. Although EGA has been around since 2011 and operates mostly through web based however at the DTBB conference they showcased a variety of mobile apps developed by their company.

The first app being the Thailand Government Spending application or TGS for short. TGS basically answers one fundamental question of every taxpayer that being “Where do our taxes go?”. The app presents users with information regarding government spending. The app allows users to see how much money is being used, on what project, on what province. The app is available for all users and is developed through the government’s commitment to preventing and fighting corruption. However skeptics will say that because this is a government owned agency there really is no way is evaluating the legitimacy of the information provided, the agency could perhaps distort the information on spending before releasing it to the public. But regardless you have to admit the idea is pretty cool.

The second application is the GNews application which is essentially a news feed for all government related affairs. The app is available to all users and in it users can find various types of news such as economic and investment news, news from the district or perhaps everyday news. Users can also choose to follow news according to the departments of interest such as department of labour, ministry of commerce, department of transportation and etc.

Its very exciting to see that the government sector is starting to integrate applications in their infrastructure as a means to creates transparency and accountability. However personally i have doubts since the information provided by the government agency could be altered or tampered with before making the data available to public. To fix the issue perhaps there could be another organization in charged of monitoring the accountability and the reliability of the information. But regardless seeing it is one of the organizations at the expo that I felt that was really exciting and represented progress and the governments interest in improving its data accessibility. Even if the individual does not have a smart phone they could still access the same data on the internet.