Artificial intelligence is really going into every aspect of our daily life, not only in science fiction, promising a technology revolution in the next five years. This technology helps our lives become smarter and faster, even solving difficult problems of the modern world. Has Vietnam developed artificial intelligence and what should we do to not miss the opportunity to welcome this wave of technology?

Development history

In fact, the study of AI in Vietnam began in the early 1970s when courses about AI were introduced to students in computer science at some universities. Pioneers in teaching and researching AI in Vietnam are professors Nguyen Van Ba, Bach Hung Khang, Phan Dinh Dieu, Hoang Kiem,… who have trained many students and built research and development teams in AI later.

Since the 1980s, Vietnam has had some products using AI. For example, Professor Bach Hung Khang led a team of scientists doing research to solve the problem of Vietnamese Optical Character Recognition. The team created VnDOCR software, which is the best software in Vietnam market for recognizing Vietnamese words from printed documents.

AI in daily life

Virtual Assistances are in every where

It can be said that AI appears in all aspects of life, all over the world and also in Vietnam, this technology has been seen in many applications in reality. The particular example is the email inbox that automatically categorizes mail into groups like spam, important mail,… Or the smartphone which is used by 37% out of the 94% of Vietnamese using cell phones, there are many applications of artificial intelligence such as voice recognition software, face recognition when taking photo, virtual assistant Siri,…

In daily life, smart traffic control systems in Ho Chi Minh City, smart healthcare, fraud prevention, energy saving are all applications of artificial intelligence.

At FPT, every day, artificial intelligence is being used to increase production and business efficiency of the company as well as customers through automatic decision-making system jointly developed and implemented by FPT and their partner – GE Predix, camera helps analyze customer behaviors and habits, Chatbot virtual assistant provides information to customers automatically via Facebook Messenger. At present, FPT is also building AI platform – FPT.AI, the next generation of conversational and virtual assistant platform.

What should Vietnam do?

In order not to fall behind, the first thing is to increase awareness of government, firms, schools, and research organizations, and thus make particular action plans such as: proving high-qualiy resources for this sector on the basis of systematic development of education and training, coordinating between enterprises and schools; establishing mechanisms and policies to support high technology firms, start-ups to promote the overall development of Vietnam’s technology market.

In addition to FPT.AI, Viettel also promotes their research activities and launches e-government, education management (SMAS), sales management and promotion for their distribution chain (DMS.One), single-phase electronic household meter system (SMMS.One), Voffice system… Vietnam’s largest online educational institute also launches Topica AI Lab with the desire of bringing ideas into developing products which apply AI into real life,… Here we can list some other names with research activities related to this industry such as VNG, VC Corp, IOIA Institute of Information Technology…

AI – The big pie is not for the large companies only

For young companies, starting a business in any field has many advantages as well as difficulties and challenges. AI is a new field, the market is still a fertile land for many businesses. It is also a big advantage for young Vietnamese enterprises which have dynamic and creative labor resources, to quickly access to information from public sources and open source.

However, the capital for research and development of artificial intelligence is quite high for technical facilities, data centers… this can be considered a great difficulty for young people starting their own business. The industry also requires highly qualified human resources and valuable database. The problem of competing with the big companies in this fiels also requires startups to have solutions.

Can Vietnam name itself on the AI map?

To answer this question, we should learn something about Le Viet Quoc first. Le Viet Quoc , a 34-year-old software engineer, studied at Hue High School for the Gifted and achieved his Ph.D in computer science from Stanford University. He has been working for Google Brain project for five years. Google Brain is one of many future projects of Google with the  ambition of creating an artificial brain that can make decision as a human one day. Google Brain will process data in super high speed and more diversely, through both voice recognition and advanced image search… Founded in 2011, Google Brain attracts the world’s leading software engineers including Le Viet Quoc. With basic in deep learning, which means machines also can learn, Le Viet Quoc’s system has learned to recognize over 3,000 different things by viewing 10 million images from Youtube. This system has shown that machines can learn by themselves without the help of human and still have amazing accuracy. With his research, since 2014, Le Viet Quoc was listed among 35 inventors under 35-year-old by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and was considered one of the smartest and most outstanding minds.

Hanoi University of Science and Technology, University of Engineering and Technology, College of Natural Science… are developing many ideas in this field. Research team of Associate Professor, Dr. Phan Xuan Hieu of Hanoi University of Engineering and Technology has launched a virtual assistant – VAV with over 160,000 downloads. This virtual assistant application provides users with an assistant for free. It can automatically book a taxi, search for a clinic, book an appointment with a doctor, call your relatives, and many other applications.

Is Vietnam inferior to any technological power? Not mention the word “inferior”, we are demonstrating our ability in the fourth industrial revolution by several impressive marks. Being left behind or not depends on each individual, creativity of human being is unlimited, especially when machines can replace people in some jobs, but things that require breakthrough, human is irreplaceable.

Part 1:

                        Jenny Nguyễn

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