Vietnam: AI important driver of innovation

HO CHI MINH CITY – Vietnam is among the countries that are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) as a key driver of innovation and growth. One of the leading players in this field is VNG, a tech giant that operates Zalo, the most popular messaging app in the country.

VNG is developing large language models for Vietnamese users, based on open-source code from US tech firms. It is also applying AI to its various products, such as games, payments, and cloud infrastructure.

VNG has a strong advantage of having access to a large amount of data from its 75 million users in Vietnam. However, it also faces challenges and risks in pursuing its AI ambitions. Its CEO, Le Hong Minh, has admitted that AI projects are expensive and require a lot of talent and resources.

VNG is not the only company that is investing in AI in Vietnam. Several other AI companies are making significant contributions to the field, such as VinAI Research, FPT, Viettel, HBLAB, VAR META, and VTI Cloud. These companies are involved in various domains of AI, such as machine learning, natural language processing, cognitive computing, chatbots, and robotics. They are also collaborating with academic institutions and international partners to advance AI research and development in Vietnam.

However, these companies also face various challenges in developing and deploying AI solutions in Vietnam. Some of the  challenges include:

– Funding: AI development requires a large amount of funding from various sources, such as international venture capital, government subsidies, and corporate investment. However, Vietnam lacks a mature ecosystem for funding AI startups and projects. According to a report by PwC, Vietnam ranked 26th out of 34 countries in terms of access to finance for digital businesses.

– Talent: AI development requires a high level of technical skills and expertise, as well as creativity and innovation. However, Vietnam suffers from a shortage of qualified AI talent, especially in areas such as data science, machine learning engineering, and natural language processing. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, Vietnam ranked 22nd out of 25 countries in terms of digital talent readiness.

– Ethics: AI development raises ethical issues such as data privacy, security, fairness, accountability, and social impact. However, Vietnam lacks a clear and comprehensive framework for regulating and governing AI applications. According to a report by Montreal AI Ethics Institute, Vietnam scored low on indicators such as data protection laws, ethical guidelines for AI research and development, and public awareness and engagement on AI ethics. (zia)

Photo: photo by Nguyen Dang Viet Cuong