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Vietnam Aims to Become AI Hub in ASEAN By 2030

The Vietnamese government has issued a national strategy on the research, development, and application of artificial intelligence (AI) till 2030. It aims to gradually turn Vietnam into an innovation and AI hub in ASEAN and the world.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Bui The Duy, noted that the strategy intends for Vietnam to be among four leading countries in ASEAN and 50 nations globally in terms of AI research, development, and application over the next few years. Also, it targets to build ten prestigious AI trademarks in the region and develop three national big data and high-performance computing centres.

By 2030, Vietnam will set up 50 interconnected open databases in economic sectors in service of the effort. To achieve this, the country is fine-tuning legal documents, creating a legal framework regarding AI, and promoting international cooperation in the field. According to a news report, further attention should be paid to human resources training and building a database that is synchronous with computing infrastructure. Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out nearly two years ago, the application of AI in health care in Vietnam has become a bright spot in the world. AI has helped ease burdens on medical workers and anti-pandemic forces through tracing apps and epidemiological maps.

The Hanoi University of Science and Technology officially debuted an international centre on AI under the model of a mixed international research centre. It is expected to conduct basic studies and create Make-in-Vietnam core technologies. Professor Ho Tu Bao, Director of the Centre, said that the digital environment is creating invaluable opportunities to develop and master technologies like AI. Minister Duy added that construction on the National Innovation Centre began at Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park to support the start-up ecological system in Vietnam, contributing to renewing the growth model based on advanced technologies.

In June, Vietnam introduced an AI application that issues warnings when facemasks are not being worn on public transport. The computer vision app alerts authorities of passengers who are not wearing or improperly wearing masks. As OpenGov Asia reported, the app is connected to surveillance cameras on public transport vehicles and can access image data and automatically analyse it. It sends appropriate notifications to the server of the transport company if it detects someone not wearing a mask or wearing one incorrectly.

Meanwhile, a group of scientists from the Medicine Faculty at the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City unveiled a technological solution that combined the internet of things (IoT) with AI to concurrently manage people in quarantine sites and crowded places. Further, medical and delivery robots have been put into use at quarantine sites to replace health workers in transporting food, medicine, and essential goods and collecting waste, thus minimising direct contact. Many other organisations have also created a number of high-quality scientific and technological products such as testing kits and vaccines and commercialised them to help with the pandemic combat.

BKAV, a cybersecurity and software company, developed Bluezone- a contact tracing application. Bluezone is believed to be the most effective tracking solution in the fight against the virus. The latest report of the Authority for Information Technology Application (AITA) shows that as of 24 May, there were 33.06 million Bluezone downloads, which meant an increase of 2.5 million Bluezone installations compared with 28 April, when the fourth wave broke out.

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