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Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology Unveils AI4VN

The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) recently launched a series of seminars to kick-start the 2022 Vietnam Artificial Intelligence Day (AI4VN) in Hanoi, earlier this week. The seminars discussed AI solutions in finance banking, training and connecting AI human resources, and automation in production.

Launched in 2018, AI4VN is an annual event held by MOST. It gathers a wide range of stakeholders in the AI community, including policymakers, technology corporations, researchers, and university students. Seminars delve into the development of an AI ecosystem to improve the quality of life and explore solutions to help businesses break through with AI technology.

During the recent event, experts stated that more than 60% of companies operating in the financial-banking sector are testing AI. An official from the Viettel Cyberspace Centre said in the next three years, the accumulation of AI databases will bring great value, contributing to solving many problems.

Pham Hien, a researcher from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)’s Data61, introduced a project on the AI market in Vietnam, which is built exclusively for the formation and strengthening of the AI ecosystem in the nation. It focuses on developing databases and algorithms to automatically collect, store, and update profiles of Vietnamese AI experts at home and abroad; an index to track the development of AI in Vietnam; and business models to enhance research-industry collaboration in the field.

The Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Automation Association also spoke at the event. He noted that automation is divided into seven levels, with most businesses in Vietnam now at the level 3-4-5 or partial automation. In the digital era, the traditional business model will be eliminated and replaced by a digital transformation model of corporate governance, he added.

The implementation of the 2022 AI4VN sees the coordination between a Vietnamese online newspaper and Aus4Innovation, an AU $10 million development assistance programme being enacted under the Vietnam-Australia innovation partnership.

According to data from 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.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), to solve the problem, businesses must recruit experts from abroad, recruit young talents for training, or hire from domestic and foreign training institutions. State-run enterprise Viettel has actively recruited overseas Vietnamese experts and engineers specializing in AI from the US, France, Russia, and South Korea, and cooperated with experts in many countries (US, Japan, Singapore, Finland).

Only about 30% of IT graduates can work in AI, and the rest must be further trained. Experts say that it is necessary to have a professional training programme on AI. Also, instead of considering AI as part of information technology faculties, undergraduate and graduate training programs specialising in AI and data science should be developed. Training at universities is a crucial step in solving staffing problems.

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