On August 18, the virtual seminar on “Applying AI to help businesses recover from COVID-19” took place with the participation of national and international experts on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide solutions for businesses to get over the unprecedented challenge.

At the seminar, participants are national and international experts, including Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Ministry Bui The Duy, representatives of FPT Corporation, VinAI, Viettinbank and VNN, and experts from Australia and Canada.

Deputy Minister Bui The Duy shared at the seminar: “The Ministry of Science and Technology, in collaboration with FPT Corporation, organized a series of events to help businesses recover their production and disrupted supply chain, and ensure stability for business operations and employee.” He expected that the event would promote digital transformation amid the fourth industrial revolution.

Speakers at the seminar. Photo: ĐA.

Joumana Ghosn, Director of Mila Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, had a remarks on Artificial Intelligence and its application in real life. In her presentation, it can be seen that with the several advances, Artificial Intelligence is changing all walks of life and supporting people from simple to complicated tasks. Specifically, AI is used in treatment for remote patients in Canada through a natural language processing (NLP)-based chatbot. In addition, AI is also used to analyze the results of 3D images in mine surveying and weather forecast without using a huge source of data.

Especially, the Institute is working with the Canadian Government to develop a system to answer questions from citizens and businesses about the pandemic. The first version is released after 2 and a half months, with verified information from experts.

In Vietnam, since the first COVID-19 case was detected, the Ministry of Health immediately worked with FPT Corporation to launch a chatbot helping answer questions and update latest news regarding the pandemic. For that, people can access to accurate and real time information about the current situation and responses to COVID-19.

According to Joumana Ghosn, the reason why several businesses finding AI hard to adopt is time and budget. “Businesses should consider these two factors based on their existing resources. If the adoption came in over budget and exceeded time, it will defintely fail, no matter what”, said Joumana Ghosn.

The moderator of the seminar is the Director of FPT Technology Research Institute Tran The Trung. Key note speakers at the event include Mr. Tran Cong Quynh Lan – Deputy General Director of Vietinbank, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Tung – General Director of VNN, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phong – AI Specialist at Mila Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (Canada) and Mr. Nguyen Thanh Lam, Director of VinAI Research (Vingroup).

Mr. Tran The Trung (on the right), Mr. Nguyen Thanh Lam (on the left). Photo: ĐA.

In this session, guest speakers shared about specific challenges facing Vietnamese businesses amid the COVID-19, experiences and solutions for AI adoption to improve internal operations (manufacturing processes, human resource management, and continuous operations).

When it comes to challenges facing Vietnamese businesses amid the COVID-19, Mr. Tran Cong Quynh Lan said that ViettinBank has applied technology in customer care process, promoted a wide range of tech products, such as online banking, and implemented remote working and remote customer services. ViettinBank has received a lot of positive feedbacks from customers, as it can save costs and time, and increase efficiency.

Mr. Tran Cong Quynh Lan shared his experiences in response to the pandemic. Photo: ĐA.

With the superior power of Artificial Intelligence, the bank has cooperated with FPT Corporation to pilot the chatbot in cardlock services to support ViettinBank staff and customers.

In particular, the chatbot is responsible to answer frequently asked questions of Viettinbank customers without asking help from other departments, contributing to improve service quality and customer experience.

According to the representative of ViettinBank, customers who lost their cards usually go to the bank or ask for help via mobile banking. However, these two methods are quite time-consuming as customers have to move or perform many complicated tasks to lock their lost cards. FPT.AI chatbot is the optimal choice for this problem. The chatbot can automatically answer customers, exploit necessary information, validate information and lock cards, helping to improve productivity exponentially.

Regarding AI achievements, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phong – Artificial Intelligence Specialist at Mila Artificial Intelligence Research Institute said besides, the Electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC), AI also contribute to several achievements in such field as translation or smart citiy (urban management, traffic management, etc.)

“AI has evolved in the world for a long time, especially in North America, Germany and Japan. In Vietnam, we recently just embark on AI adoption. Artificial Intelligence can make a huge difference in every industry. The important thing is to have a key national strategy, consider priorities in such sector as agriculture, health, agriculture, forestry and fisheries to thrive and create competitive advantages,” Phong affirmed.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Lam – Director of Applied Products of VinAI Research (Vingroup) shared his experiences in technology research and development. AI requires speed and determination. VinAI Research has a pool of talents and pressure to complete a plenty of products. Besides, money is a very important factor to produce high-quality artificial intelligence products.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Lam shared his experiences in research and technology development. Photo: ĐA.

Sharing the same viewpoint of speed and timeliness, Dr. Stefan Hajkowicz, Head of Research Group of Digital Experts of Australia’s National Science Agency, said via video conference that AI has appeared in all walks of life in Australia. Leading Australian experts are accelerating the adoption of technology to develop vaccines for protection against COVID-19.

Dr. Stefan Hajkowicz in the seminar via video conference. Photo: ĐA.

“We realize that AI is an excellent tool for doctors and researchers. Especially, AI shortens the time of vaccine production”, Dr. Stefan Hajkowicz said.

Experts agreed that it is necessary to have a suitable environment for AI piloting and development to release more practical AI applications in real life. The sustainable development of Artificial Intelligence depend on AI education, public recognition of AI application, environment for research and piloting. Mr. Tran The Trung said that FPT University has now opened Artificial Intelligence department to train high-quality labors for AI product research and development.

A delegate from the AI Research Institute asked: “In the world, many companies are providing data for AI systems. Is there any confidential data providers in Vietnam?”

According to Mr. Tran The Trung, Director of FPT Technology Research Institute, in Vietnam, data is still a vague concept due to the lack of legal framework. Therefore, it is extremely difficult for businesses to access data sources. Mr. Nguyen Thanh Lam, Director of Applied Products Division of VinAI Research, said that the problem is the current supply and demand in market. There are neither data buyers nor sellers.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phong, an AI Specialist at Mila Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (Canada), offers a solution. In case businesses cannot buy the whole set, they can label their data. In Vietnam, some companies are providing data labeling services to train AI-powered system, for example FPT Corporation.

The seminar is an activity under the Vietnam Artificial Intelligence Festival (AI4VN). It is jointly organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, VnExpress, Sun Bright Art Creative and Events JSC., Aus4Innovation, Australian Embassy in Vietnam and FPT Corporation.

Thao Chi

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