AI proves practical during Covid-19 fight in Vietnam

The Prime Minister right at the beginning of this year released the national strategy for AI research, development, and implementation until 2030, in hope of making breakthroughs in the field in Vietnam. During the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, AI has played an important role to help relieve the burden of the medical staff and disease prevention forces.

AI proves practical during Covid-19 fight in Vietnam ảnh 1

Smart VMS system using AI to warn aaginst a large gathering

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui The Duy stated that AI was formerly considered quite academic and was only for senior mathematicians, IT experts to research. Lately, however, thanks to the appearance of advanced technologies like Big Data, Cloud Computing, Deep Learning, AI has become more practical to the real life than ever, with several meaningful applications.

Deputy Minister Duy, who is also the Leader of the Information Quick Response Team under the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, shared that many technological businesses, organizations have successfully developed useful AI-based apps to aid the pandemic prevention forces in tracking infected people, their contacts and digitalizing health declaration forms for easy access. Robots are also used to disinfect high-risk areas and distribute medication to Covid-19 patients.

In HCMC, AI is implemented in the latest Covid-19 fight, such as the callbot of the 1022 Hotline to answer basic questions related to Covid-19. There are also a series of new AI-based products from Quang Trung Software City like Homa’s smart camera system management to monitor gatherings of the public in lockdown areas or the solution to monitor people access in public places by a research team in the Medical Faculty of the Vietnam National University – HCMC.

However, Vietnam does have certain challenges implementing AI in real life. Dr. Vo Sy Nam from VinBigData of VinGroup stated that the data quality is the key in AI research since 80 percent of the job is related to data processing. Similarly, Prof. Vu Ha Van – Scientific Director of VinBigData shared that the collected data must be large enough with clear labels, reliable, accessible, clear, and representative. Data and capable human resources are the basic factors to create high-quality made-in-Vietnam AI products.

Experts in the fields said that there are now four matters to focus on to develop AI: sufficient high-quality human resources, in-depth research teams, professional AI training for the next generation, and a strong connection between AI research and application to make usable products.

Director of Vietnam National University – HCMC Vu Hai Quan shared that most IT knowledge taught in universities here is about software development, not much about AI. It is high time to adjust the current curriculum to adapt to the new global technological trend. The first logical action could be the establishment of an AI faculty or the subjects of Computer Vision, Speech Processing, Natural Language Processing, Big Data, Robotics.

Right now, the Science & Technology Ministry is adding needed legal documents about intellectual property rights related to AI, launching the public-private cooperation model, supporting AI research institutes, forming key AI and data science research teams in certain state universities and research centers, building several AI innovation centers. These plans are supposed to create globally renowned made-in-Vietnam AI brand names in the near future.