Artificial Intelligence Initiative
The world has seen the rapid growth of digitalisation since the emergence of COVID-19, with many economies now looking to capitalise on the agility of new technologies to enhance productivity.
The emergence of COVID-19 and the disruption of lockdowns has slowed down the growth of many global economies.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) recently developed the country’s first National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence. This strategy identifies enhancing Vietnam’s artificial intelligence (AI) capability as a key innovation priority to support the country’s economic recovery and continued socioeconomic growth.
Together with MOST, Aus4Innovation (A4I) is supporting the dissemination and implementation of Vietnam’s National AI Strategy. This work leverages A4I’s previous work relating to Vietnam’s future digital economy.
This new initiative will include a number of activities to promote practical innovative solutions using AI and the deployment of the AI National Strategy. View the list of activities below:
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has held the Vietnam Artificial Intelligence Day (AI4VN) each year since 2018. Each year MOST hosts a series of events including the AI4VN Summit, workshops, a technology showcase conference, training programs and a hackathon. The events pull together a wide range of stakeholders in the AI community, from policy makers and technology corporations to researchers and university students.
A4I provided financial and technical support for several events as part of the 2020 AI4VN themed “AI in pandemic: Adapting to the new normal”. Among the events leading up to the final summit, we coordinated two workshops – AI for Enterprises in August and AI for Health in September with experts from Australia sharing about good practices and lessons learned from Australia.
On 27 November 2020, the AI4VN Summit was held in Ho Chi Minh City more than 500 leading Vietnamese and international AI experts attending. The two-day event offered six workshops on AI in banking-finance, AI in healthcare, AI in enterprises, AI in human resource training, building the AI ecosystem in Ho Chi Minh City and computing infrastructure for AI.
The AI Hackathon Challenge 2020 – RESET 1010 – was a highlight event of Vietnam Artificial Intelligence Day (AI4VN). This 48-hour contest brought together experts and top programmers to find new ways to use AI to help Vietnam recover from COVID-19.
Taking place on 20-22 November 2020, the hackathon targeted teams and individuals with a creative AI solution in one or more of nine strategic sectors for Vietnam’s future socioeconomic development: health, education, agriculture and food, garments and textiles, banking and finance, business development, e-commerce and retail, logistics and supply chain, and operation optimisation.
Standing out from hundreds of innovative ideas to apply AI in nine different sectors, the three winning solutions were:
- Hoori – a mobile app using AI to help small and medium agricultural businesses monitor and protect crop health
- Doctor Assistant AI – an application using AI to support doctors in detecting potential colon cancer at earlier stages
- AGRION – an online agriculture marketplace with an AI function that helps customers recognise quality agricultural products, thus enabling farmers to sell their products directly to the end customers.
Beside the total prizes of up to VND 150 million funded by A4I program, the winning teams were invited to take part in Vietnam Artificial Intelligence Day 2020 (AI4VN) in Ho Chi Minh City and had an opportunity to apply for an accelerator program to continue implementing their ideas.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Accelerator Challenge 2021 is supporting Vietnam’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while helping foster the development of a vibrant AI start-up environment.
Funded by the A4I program, the accelerator was specifically designed for Vietnamese AI start-ups with innovative ideas and products that address the practical needs of the market.
Participating start-ups were offered mentoring from top technology and entrepreneurship experts. They also participated in a boot camp hosted by Vietnam Silicon Valley on topics like business development and fund raising from angel investors and leading domestic and foreign venture capital funds.
Developing AI-powered applications
The AI Accelerator Challenge 2021 was organised with the goal of identifying, incubating, promoting, and developing potential AI-powered applications in fields such as finance, commerce, electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, education, transportation, smart cities.
Financial support and training
Participants undertook a four-week online training course (valued at VND 100 million), after which the top five teams were awarded a place in an intensive boot camp with training and mentoring (valued at VND 400 million), access to Vietnam Silicon Valley’s support services and networks, and seed funding of up to VND 200 million (with no equity required).
Final five teams named
The five teams who successfully made it through to the final stage of the AI Accelerator Challenge 2021 were identified as:
- tMonitor can be used in indoor and outdoor industrial zones to provide an intelligent real-time platform that uses AI and IoT technologies to monitor air quality in order to boost productivity and to ensure compliance to international and Vietnamese regulation standards.
- CyberPurify uses AI to filter harmful internet content for kids. The tool blocks a range of inappropriate content, as well as content in images, videos and ads.
- MiSmart uses unmanned aircraft technology (drone) to fly over crop fields to spot pest spot and spray pesticide. This saves up to 99% of pesticides, and creates clean agriculture products.
- Movan ISO software helps to automate business, production and service processes that comply with ISO standard for businesses.
- EM&AI provides a comprehensive solution including Virtual Agent – a conversational AI and Digital Platform that powers automated conversations between a business and customers via voice and chat channels.
A final Demo Day with the finalists showcasing their technologies was held in late November 2021. You can watch a recording of the event.
The Vietnam National Strategy on AI puts forward ambitious goals for Vietnam to be in ASEAN’s top four, and the world’s top 50 countries for research, development and application of AI by 2030.
A series of five workshops that took place from July to October 2021 to disseminate and support the implementation of the strategy were organised by MOST and funded by Aus4Innovation. These events brought together top experts from knowledge institutes and enterprises as well as the Vietnamese AI community.
Data and Computing Infrastructure for AI
This workshop was organised with the objectives of developing a data sharing principle based on mutual benefits and forming shared and open databases for R&D and applications of AI. Topics of discussion included high performance data analytics and AI, national capacity for high-performance computing, Vietnam’s data infrastructure and its challenges.
The workshop is available to be streamed online and gained more than 125,000 views.
Education and Training for AI
Human resources for AI is now a challenge because of the gap between university curriculum and enterprise practices, and the lack of awareness of students about the career prospects in AI.
This workshop brought together lecturers from universities, representatives from enterprises as well as officials from the Ministry of Education and Training. The goal was to review the current status of education and professional training of AI in Vietnam and plan for changes in a near future.
The livestreamed video of the workshop was viewed 62,900 times.
Research and Development for AI
Artificial intelligence is a technology with unlimited applications. This makes research and development for AI an important step in understanding how AI can help improve our economy and our lives. Top AI experts from Vietnam participated in an online workshop to discuss topics such as global AI research trends, natural language processing, and AI recommendation systems.
The workshop attracted 143,000 viewers online and is available to watch online.
Enterprises and AI Application
Application of AI in manufacturing and management can help businesses improve productivity, reduce risks and enhance employee performance and morale. Representatives from Vietnam’s top AI development companies attended a workshop to introduce their AI-tech products with a potential application for businesses and government agencies.
You can explore the “Made in Vietnam” AI products in the workshop recording.
AI Community development
To realise the nation strategy, AI researchers, businesses and government agencies need to come together to exchange ideas, experiences and mobilise resources. To conclude the workshop series, bottlenecks for collaboration and solutions for connectivity in an AI community of Vietnam were discussed in this workshop.
Watch the recording of the AI Community development event.
The Vietnam-Australia Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Network (Vietnam – Australia AI) is a network initiated by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) to promote the National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The network strengthens the connections between individuals, businesses and organisations working on artificial intelligence in Vietnam and Australian experts and institutions.
Vietnam – Australia AI, is administered by MOST in collaboration with FISU Club (the branch of the Vietnam Association for Information Processing with members being faculties and schools of information technology), and is financially supported and organised by Aus4Innovation.
The network will:
- connect enterprises with experts to find solutions to apply AI for businesses
- connect domestic and foreign businesses to learn from each other about experiences with AI implementation, technology transfer and supply-demand solutions
- connect researchers with each other for research collaborations
- create opportunities for government agencies to learn about international experiences with AI development enabling policies.
The network will create opportunities for members to cooperate with Australian partners and understand the current opportunities and developments around artificial intelligence in Vietnam and Australia and the world. After that, the network will expand cooperation to other countries with the aim of building a sustainable AI community.