Charmonman, 67, is often referred to as the "Father of Thailand's
Internet" because of his pioneering role in introducing the
now ubiquitous information and communication technology to this
country back in the late 1960s after earning a PhD in computing
from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1964.
last four decades, Srisakdi, the current chairman of Assumption
University's College of Internet Distance Education, has authored
as many as 900 academic papers on computers and the Internet and
has lectured in over 20 countries.
Srisakdi, who has been a professor of computation since he was
36, has been a first-hand witness of the relentless evolution
of computation from its earliest stages of development in the
1960s, when a computer was as large as a 20-metre-long storage
room but had very little capacity, to the technology-saturated
environment of today, in which scientists are devising ways to
manufacture computers on the nano-scale (a nanometre is a billionth
of a metre).
machines in the 1960s could be called the first genertion of computers.
Now, we're in the fourth of fifth generations of computing, in
which artificial intelligence has been making headway. In the
fifth generation, we will be able to tell computers to solve this
or that problem for us because the machines will recognise and
understand our speech. The blink of an eye will soon let machines
know exactly what we want them to do.
technologies could be ubiquitous within a decade from now. The
other day, I was asked what we could do if robots decided they
wanted to take over our world one day like in a Hollywood blockbuster
movie. I said jokingly that in such a scenario, I would kindly
ask for permission to have sex with my girlfriend. For the sake
of politeness, all of these robots would have to turn around.
Then, I would have a good chance to unplug their batteries or
their power sources, without which they'd be nothing," says
Internet, he says that technology has undoubtedly altered the
way people live, work and play.
refrigerators can now be connected to the Net, allowing us to
order groceries onine for home delivery. Or the shoes of professional
runners may be connected to the Net to get expert advice on how
to improve their performance. Or our belts may be put online to
help us control our diet and weight," he says.
subject of education, he says the era of e-learning will allow
anyone, physically fit and disabled alike, to have access to education
and training, whereever they are and whenever it is convenient.
opportunities are emerging for those who aspire to gain new knowledge.
At Assumption University, we've built one of the world's largest
educational institutes for integrated Internet-based education.
Located at Bang Na-Trat campus, the Bt500-million certre, named
after me, will officially be opened by HRH Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn next month."
10,000-square-metre, 10-storey centre is expected to serve 100,000
students a year for short courses, certificate courses, bachelor's,
master's and doctoral degrees, some of them in partnership with
foreign universities in places like the UK or Malaysia. In provincial
or rural communities, people may access our network via public
computer kiosks if they wish to take courses.
will also be 400 terminals - out of the centre's total of 2,000
- dedicated to use by blind, deaf and autistic kids. There will
also be an incubator service for IT business start-ups, Internet
radio and TV studios as well as an IT literacy and skills-development
facility for senior citizens aged over 60.
fact, we aim to serve people at virtually all levels. There could
be online training courses for new moms raising their first babies,
courses for the elderly on how to live healthily at an advanced
age in terms of diet and exercise or we could work with other
parties to develop a cyber community for senior citizens."
for myself, at 67, I'm still very busy with work. On an average
business day, I receive dozens of mobile phone calls or have to
respond to as many as 300 emails. At this age, the trick for good
health is managing your diet, exercise, be happy, smile and do
good things for the public. As for my diet, I've completely stopped
eating carbohydrates. I hope to live into my 90s," he says.