Life Equation: Matichon's Diary - Opportunities, Failures, Competitors, and AI

Life Equation: Matichon's Diary - Opportunities, Failures, Competitors, and AI

Going back 1-2 years, many wouldn't have expected Generative AI to become widely used both at work and in daily life, creating countless interesting changes. However, nearly 10 years before that, only a handful believed AI would undoubtedly elevate people's lives. One of them was K - Matichon Maneegard, currently the head of the Research Center and founder of Vulture Prime Co., Ltd., and the creator of Float16.cloud, an AI infrastructure system that ensures the practical use of Generative AI for both Thai and international organizations without any issues.

To reach the current global AI hype, K has faced many memorable and challenging stories. Insiderly.ai takes this opportunity to talk to him about how his adventurous journey shaped him and what the future of AI holds. Let's follow this interview.

Chapter 1: The Path Between AI and BTC

K has been interested in technology for a long time, growing up as a nerdy kid who started programming in middle school and loved math, English, and science, especially physics. During his university years, AI technology, like the AlphaGo program that defeated professional Go players, sparked his curiosity about how it worked. As he studied more, he joined labs with master's and doctoral students, gaining hands-on experience.

However, during that period, Bitcoin, the digital currency, was also gaining attention. K was torn between focusing on AI or Bitcoin. Ultimately, he chose AI, learning and experimenting until he was invited to work with Easy Rice, a startup developing AI for agriculture.

"Looking back, if I had chosen Bitcoin, I might be rich by now," K joked.

Matichon on the stage at SuperAI Conference, Singapore (2024)

Chapter 2: Go Global, Not Just Local

Working at Easy Rice opened K world to AI, providing valuable lessons. After a while, he left the company and disappeared for two years before returning to found Vulture Prime. K clarified that he didn't leave the AI field but sought new challenges to reignite his passion.

"I wasn't out of the AI field 100%. I was still interested in AI, but during those two years, I explored how to become a global citizen and connect with people worldwide."

He felt saturated working only in Thailand and took this time to see what the AI industry was doing abroad, discovering many interesting things that changed his mindset. K found working in the global market easier than locally, citing an example of easily collaborating with a team in Singapore via Twitter, something that wasn't possible in Thailand due to more rigid processes and protocols.

"Collaboration and partnerships differ too. In Thailand, we often ask for help and think of it as a partnership, but sometimes, they steal our ideas. This isn't exclusive to Thailand, but globally, we can better identify dream partners who make us happy to work with, which is often not the case in Thailand."

Chapter 3: Learn to Copy Competitors Effectively

Another lesson K learned abroad was the mindset of copying competitors effectively.

"When creating new innovations in Thailand, people often ask how our work differs from others and why we should replicate what's already done. Abroad, if someone does something new, it's good. If we replicate others, we need to find differences, like better services. Having competitors means the market is big enough for competition."

"In marketing, if we see competitors using certain keywords, we can use them too, saving research time. Competitors reveal what people are already searching for, and the market size. We don't need to start everything ourselves."

Copying, while recommended, isn't easy and has its own rules.

"We must copy what's visible to the public, not steal confidential information, backend files, or unrevealed strategies. It's the intermediate processes that are important and need our own thinking."

Chapter 4: Float16.cloud - Making Research Practical

K's current proud project is Float16.cloud, a platform providing Generative AI services in Thai, comparable to ChatGPT. Float16.cloud acts as the first AI layer infrastructure, helping innovative Generative AIs transition from research to practical use. An example is OpenThaiGPT, which K and his team helped make usable when it lacked hosting resources.

"Float16.cloud fills the ecosystem gap, turning high-level research like OpenThaiGPT into a practical business tool. We provide the resources needed to bring these innovations to life."

Alibaba also partnered with Float16.cloud to host their SeaLLM-7b-v2 model, demonstrating trust in their services.

Chapter 5: AI Hype is Real!

Every year, technology-related buzzwords like Blockchain, Metaverse, Cryptocurrency, NFT, and AI trend. However, these trends usually come and go quickly, like the fading interest in Metaverse and NFT today. Will AI follow the same path? K believes everything has its cycle, with peaks and declines. Currently, AI is at its peak.

"Previous AI hype was similar to now, but the difference is we no longer question many AI capabilities, like image detection, which is now a given. The technology is more advanced and reliable."

"I don't know how long the hype will last. Interest might wane by next year, but AI will remain an essential part of our daily lives in the long term."

Epilogue: Embrace Failure and Move Forward

In a few years, K has become a leading figure in Thailand's AI industry, expanding his success globally, despite being relatively young. He insists he's not extremely successful yet and reflects on his journey, noting that opportunities come when unprepared, so one must always be ready.

"Many see me as talented, driven, and successful from a young age, but I don't want my story to be a hero's tale. I want it to be a diary, a travel log because I'm just an ordinary person who fails but gets back up."

"I've had many failed projects, but everything I do aims to help the community grow. If we do beneficial things for everyone, it's always better. Being in the AI field allows me to create significant value for many people."

"I want everyone to learn to live with failure. Don't fear it. Remember, no one succeeds on the first day. It might be painful, but eventually, you'll get used to it, and it will help you grow," K concluded.

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