September 28, 2020

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Vietnam to use AI to make Ho Chi Minh a smart city

Ho Chi Minh (HCM) city authorities have rolled out projects to foster the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in production, daily activities, and smart city building. AI will create the foundation to successfully realise the smart city development project.

The announcement was made by the Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee at an international conference, last month.

The event was on domestic and international experiences in AI research and application, and recommendations for HCM in this regard. It was co-organised by the municipal People’s Committee and the World Bank.

The Chairman emphasised that the conference’s outcomes will provide the foundation of research for the city to build an AI ecosystem and establish an AI application centre shortly.

According to the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, AI can offer solutions to some of the city’s challenges, given a suitable enabling environment.

He also noted that the three key elements for AI’s success in the city are:

  • Clear and realistic expectations for where and how AI can be deployed.
  • An enabling environment for AI to succeed in practice, especially when it comes to accessing and integrating the data needed to solve the city’s challenges.
  • Proper understanding and management of any key risks associated with AI.

Last month, the Ministry of Information and Communications announced that all of Ho Chi Minh city’s 24 districts would have Internet of Things (IoT) broadcasting stations installed.

Around 1,000 Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) broadcasting stations have been activated, covering the whole city. NB-IoT technology is capable of disconnecting a device when it is inactive. Thus, the contact time of the terminal is extended to five years without the need for changing the battery.

Participants at the international conference focused their discussions on AI application in the city; collaboration and interaction among the State, entrepreneurs, scientists, and financial investors in Industry 4.0 and the city’s attraction to businesses and financial institutions.

OpenGov recently reported that the Vietnamese government launched the Industry 4.0 2019 summit. At the event, the head of the Economic Commission said that digital technology has made significant changes to almost every sector, including production, business, social life, national defence, and security.

The country has built a relatively synchronous telecommunication infrastructure with mobile coverage currently reaching 99.7% of the population, of which 3G and 4G coverage areas at a low-cost reach 98%.

Additionally, 5G networks have been granted licenses to experiment and are expected to be commercially deployed in the market by 2020.

Last year, the country’s e-government development index ranked 88th out of 193 countries, of which the online public services index jumped 10 places to rank 59th out of 193 countries in comparison to 2016.

There has been an emergence of digital and internet-based business models and services that have generated jobs, increased income, and improved the overall quality of life for residents. The developments in the creation of an e-government have also been implemented effectively and had positive outcomes.