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Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Reaches Out For AI-Powered Solutions

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The Ho Chi Minh City’s (HCMC) People’s Committee has launched a contest seeking solutions and products in artificial intelligence (AI). The contest is organised by the city’s Department of Information and Communications in collaboration with several science and technology organisations.

AI integration is the inevitable path ahead. Vietnam has reached the third stage of automation, which involves the integration of digital technologies into firms’ operations, including data-driven operations and AI-based smart automation. Out of seven levels of automation, most Vietnamese firms stay between the third and the fifth levels. This means those firms are partly automated and AI integration will not be an easy task for them. Big Data and AI will be the optimal tools to run factories in the future and digital transition will help firms optimise costs and cut emissions. These technologies will also play a significant role in helping the government improve the quality and delivery of public services.

Through the new AI contest, HCMC authorities are calling on the business community and residents to join hands to effectively implement the city’s digital transformation strategy. A press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) noted that the contest encourages individuals and research groups at home and abroad to propose AI-powered solutions to help the city deal with problems in the environment, education, and health sectors.

According to Lam Dinh Thang, Director of the city’s Department of Information and Communication, AI-powered products and solutions being researched, deployed, and applied in the city are expected to be widely applied in the future, contributing to the city’s AI application and development. The contest’s two categories are the AI Challenge and AI Solution.

AI Challenge seeks AI-based solutions for event retrieval from visual data. AI Solution looks for solutions and products based on AI technologies in key socio-economic sectors such as production, business, transportation, finance, healthcare, education, tourism, agriculture, and serving the community. A jury of experts and scientists from universities and associations will decide the winners.

All domestic and foreign individuals and organisations can register online by filling out a form at the official website, or at the Department of Information and Communications office. The organisers are encouraging participants to attach files, photos, videos, and links related to their work. Applications are open until 15 October, and the awards ceremony is expected to be held in November.

In 2020, the contest attracted 217 teams and 528 contestants from 55 units participating in the AI-Challenge, and 39 products and solutions from 31 units participating in AI-Solution, with the prizes awarded totalling VNĐ365 million (US$15,320). Last year, it received entries of 330 teams and 1,098 contestants from more than 50 units at home and abroad, with prizes of VNĐ200 million (US$8,395).

As per the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), more than 1,600 Vietnamese are studying and working in AI-related fields. Only about 700 people, including 300 experts, are doing this work in Vietnam. In Vietnam, the supply of AI personnel meets only 10% of the recruitment demand of the domestic market. MIC believes that to solve the problem, businesses must recruit experts from abroad, recruit young talents for training, or hire from domestic and foreign training institutions.

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