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Vietnam Accelerates Investment in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged at the forefront of technology development, and governments and private players are heavily investing in research and development (R&D) for new AI-driven products, services, and solutions. The Vietnamese government issued a national strategy on the research, development, and application of AI until 2030, aiming to gradually turn Vietnam into an innovation and AI hub in ASEAN and the world. The strategy targets to build ten prestigious AI trademarks in the region and develop three national big data and high-performance computing centres.

According to a report, domestic tech powers and innovative start-ups in Vietnam are also accelerating their investment in AI research and new applications in new business models. The leading information technology service company in Vietnam recently announced that it would spend VNĐ300 billion (US$13.16 million) on AI research and development over the next five years. The company has invested in related research and development since 2013. It formed a diverse ecosystem of products, solutions, and platforms to help businesses and organisations optimise their operations, improve their performance and deliver superior customer experience.

Other tech powers such as state-run organisations, Viettel and VNPT, VNG and Vingroup are also investing heavily in AI. To improve the R&D capacity of AI technology, Viettel and Vingroup has invested in supercomputer technologies to solve highly complex problems in mathematics while accelerating the development of AI technology. Vingroup has also boosted investment in technology and has applied AI technology in healthcare, smart automobiles, and self-driving cars.

An industry expert explained that over the years, AI has become an effective tool to solve societal challenges as well as create opportunities for Vietnamese businesses. If technology businesses do not keep up with rapidly changing technology, they run the risk of becoming obsolete in the future. The director of the Viettel Cyberspace Centre noted that along with investment in researching new technology trends around the world, Viettel would also invest in providing platforms and digital services with a strong social impact to provide more value to users. It would also bring AI more deeply into everyday life uses while helping national digital transformation.

Although global tech giants are ahead of Vietnamese tech companies in AI R&D, the participation of Vietnamese companies is a good sign, the report said. It has created a driving force for AI. Experts noted that the investment and development of AI technology by major corporations has attracted Vietnamese experts and AI engineers from all over the world, while seminars with the participation of foreign experts are organised regularly, forming a strong AI community in the country.

By 2030, Vietnam plans to 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. 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. According to the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Computational Intelligence 2020, Vietnam currently ranks 21st in the world in the field of AI.


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