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Balancing Innovation and Ethics: Responsible AI in Vietnam

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In today’s fast-paced technological landscape, the responsible development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) have become paramount concerns globally, encompassing ethical, societal, and legal dimensions. Experts emphasise the necessity of robust legal frameworks to protect users’ rights and mitigate potential risks associated with AI’s rapid integration into various sectors.

Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Que Anh, principal of the University of Law at Vietnam National University, underscores AI’s dual nature: while offering significant advantages, it also introduces profound ethical and legal challenges. These challenges are particularly pronounced in sectors like education, where AI holds promise for revolutionising learning through personalised approaches tailored to individual students.

“AI has immense potential to transform education by enabling personalised learning experiences,” Professor Nguyen explains. “However, its adoption raises ethical concerns related to privacy, the handling of student data, and the potential for biases based on factors like gender, race, and socioeconomic status.”

Dr Ton Quang Cuong from the University of Education, Vietnam National University, highlights the widespread adoption of AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and automation across Vietnam’s education spectrum. He emphasises the urgent need to establish clear ethical guidelines to optimise the benefits of AI while minimising its associated risks.

Recognising these challenges, Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology has taken proactive steps by issuing guidelines to ensure the responsible development of AI systems. These guidelines advocate for AI systems that not only enhance societal well-being and economic growth but also uphold ethical standards and legal principles. Central to this initiative is the imperative to prevent AI systems from infringing upon individuals’ legal rights and interests.

The Ministry’s approach emphasises a human-centric perspective, aiming to ensure that AI benefits all members of society while respecting human rights and dignity. Key principles guiding AI research and development in Vietnam include accountability, transparency, and the promotion of innovation, alongside measures to safeguard privacy and prevent discrimination.

Vietnam’s strategy in this regard involves drawing insights from global best practices while tailoring policies to fit its unique socio-cultural context. Professor Nguyen stresses the importance of adopting a forward-thinking approach that integrates international perspectives with local considerations to effectively govern AI technologies.

As AI continues to evolve and integrate into diverse sectors – from education and healthcare to business and governance – ongoing collaboration and dialogue among stakeholders are crucial. This collaborative approach is essential for navigating the complex landscape of responsible AI, ensuring that its benefits are maximised while its risks are managed effectively.

Vietnam is eager to integrate AI across sectors to drive innovation and economic growth while stressing robust measures to ensure the safety and privacy of its citizens. This commitment is reflected in ongoing efforts to develop comprehensive AI policies that prioritise ethical guidelines and cybersecurity standards.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, the 6th Vietnam Security Summit, “Cybersecurity in the AI-Driven World,” was hosted jointly by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications and the IEC Group. With participation from over 1,000 delegates representing diverse sectors, the summit explored the convergence of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, recognising AI’s pivotal role in bolstering Vietnam’s resilience in the face of rapid technological progress.

Vietnam stands at a critical juncture in its journey towards responsibly integrating AI into its socio-economic fabric. By prioritising ethical considerations and legal safeguards, Vietnam can harness the transformative potential of AI while safeguarding the rights and interests of its citizens and organisations. This balanced approach not only supports sustainable development but also positions Vietnam as a proactive participant in the global AI governance dialogue.

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