Microsoft CEO halts Southeast Asia trip including Bangkok

Photo courtesy of Techsauce

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delayed his visit to Thailand and neighbouring Southeast Asian nations, as announced yesterday.

The eagerly awaited Microsoft Build: AI Day event slated for March 21 in Bangkok now hangs in limbo indefinitely, Microsoft revealed on Friday.

“We are doing our utmost in preparing to reschedule the event and will inform you of the details as soon as possible.”

Curiously, no explicit reason has been given for the sudden change in plans, leaving tech enthusiasts speculating about the underlying motives. Moreover, uncertainty shrouds whether Nadella will grace the rescheduled event with his presence.

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Originally set to embark on a whirlwind tour from March 19 to 21, Nadella intended to make stops in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta for separate AI Day engagements. His anticipated rendezvous with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, scheduled during his Bangkok visit, now hangs in the balance.

The highlight of the thwarted Microsoft Build: AI Day in Bangkok was Nadella’s keynote address on the dawn of artificial intelligence’s new era. Promising insights into the transformative power of AI for organisations and society at large, the event was eagerly awaited by tech enthusiasts.

Nadella, who hails from India, last graced Thailand’s shores in 2016, pledging Microsoft’s support to bolster the nation’s developer community during the Microsoft Thailand Developer Day event, reported The Nation.

Nadella ascended to the helm of Microsoft in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer as CEO and John Thompson as chairman in 2021.

In related news, six flagship projects, including the development of an AI workforce and the Thai large language model (ThaiLLM), are on the cards for the second phase of the national AI strategy and action plan.

The initiation of these projects is pending approval from a new National AI Committee, appointed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. An estimated budget of 1.5 billion baht is required for these projects, with 1 billion dedicated to the development of 30,000 AI-skilled workers, including engineers and beginners.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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