PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk. has initiated the adoption of artificial intelligence technology for the purpose of optimizing its business operations. The company thus far believes in the long-term potential of artificial intelligence (AI) for its business activities.
The Director of Digital Business at Telkom, Fajrin Rasyid, exemplified that Telkom is developing an internal chatbot for its sales team. This application has proven to be helpful in providing information to the sales team during their sales efforts.
Telkom is also developing a chatbot for customer service, which will provide responses to customer inquiries.
“So, we believe in the various potentials of AI and, as a result, we have developed several business cases,” Fajrin stated in an exclusive interview with Katadata during the Bali Annual Telkom International Conference (Batic) 2023 in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday, (7/9).
Regarding artificial intelligence, there has been much discussion recently, especially following the emergence of chatbot applications like ChatGPT and Google Bard.
In a different context, Senior Managing Director of Delta Partners, Vincent Stevens, expressed that the emergence of ChatGPT is as significant as the innovation of the iPhone in the realm of smartphones. ChatGPT has indeed received a positive response from technology users.
He cited research indicating that ChatGPT took only two months to reach 100 million users, whereas other platforms took longer to achieve the same number of users, such as TikTok (9 months), Instagram (30 months), and Spotify (55 months).
“This has never happened before. And, AI is now coming in full force,” he said during the “Preparing for the Web3 Economy” session.
Vincent noted that AI technology, especially large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, requires substantial processing power. This presents an opportunity for telecommunications and technology infrastructure companies.
Indonesian people are also not lagging behind in AI technology adoption. As evidence, 52 percent of Indonesian respondents admitted to using ChatGPT, according to a survey conducted by Populix. The remaining respondents accessed Copy.AI (29 percent), Luminar (18 percent), Oracle (15 percent), and DALL-E (13 percent).
Challenges in AI Development
According to research by Kearney and ADBI, only 28 percent of companies in Indonesia plan to invest in AI, while 57 percent of companies are considering AI-related business initiatives.
The survey found that domestic companies continue to face challenges in developing artificial intelligence. Some obstacles include a shortage of qualified talents, difficulty in finding suitable AI partners, lack of knowledge about AI investment, and issues related to personal data.
Despite these challenges, AI has the potential to create an additional economic value of USD 366 billion, equivalent to 12 percent of Indonesia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030. This information is based on the research titled “Racing Toward the Future: Artificial Intelligence in Southeast Asia,” launched in 2022.
When asked about the report, Fajrin stated that the company relies on three main strategies: Buy, Build, and Borrow. In terms of digital talents, for example, the company strives to enhance the capabilities of its employees.
If deemed insufficient, the company plans to engage in strategic collaborations with companies such as Microsoft and Google.
“Thirdly, we are also exploring or attempting to invest in startups that we believe have potential in this field,” he added.
Telkom is currently targeting AI as one of its new business lines. The company aims to become an enabler for other businesses looking to adopt artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, Bogi Witjaksono, the Director of Wholesale and International Service at Telkom, stated that in addition to its potential for usage, AI also holds business prospects in terms of infrastructure.
This is because AI technology requires significant resources, broad bandwidth capacity, energy, and processing machines.
“So, there must be AI machines that we are also starting to develop,” Bogi said.