HCMC determines to encourage AI development

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) People’s Committee has just organized a meeting about strategy planning for the national Artificial Intelligence (AI) development and preparation tasks for the upcoming Vietnam AI Festival 2020. The meeting revealed the municipal authorities’ strong will to boost AI programs in the city.

Students of the University of Science (Vietnam National University – HCMC) are researching for smart traffic light systems able to adjust themselves according to traffic density. (Photo: SGGP)
Students of the University of Science (Vietnam National University – HCMC) are researching for smart traffic light systems able to adjust themselves according to traffic density. (Photo: SGGP)

In the meeting, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui The Duy shared that his ministry has finished the draft for the national AI strategy, focusing on such fields as transport, logistics, tourism, e-commerce, telecommunications, education, urban management, social management, and public administration.

The draft also mentions the construction of 3 innovative AI centers, one of which will be in HCMC.

Vice Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc expressed the authorities’ encouragement to develop AI here, revealing in the detailed plan in accordance with the strategy of the Ministry of Science & Technology.

In particular, in March 2019, the HCMC Department of Information & Communications and Department of Science & Technology co-hosted the conference ‘Researching and Implementing AI in HCMC in the period from 2019-2025’ to identify available conditions for AI growth.

Statistics reveal that there are 30 AI programs held by several educational institutes in HCMC as well as a database of professionals and AI research organizations. The AI administration committee is planned to establish in the upcoming time.

In September 2019, the international conference ‘Global and Domestic Experience in Researching and Implementing AI – Advice for HCMC’ was held by HCMC People’s Committee in hope of aiding to achieve all goals of the program ‘Forming an Ecosystem to Apply AI in HCMC in the Period from 2019-2025’. The results from this valuable event are essential for the city to introduce an AI ecosystem as well an AI center in the near future.

With a population of over 10 million, along with 30,000 existing businesses of different industries, HCMC has already set a goal to create an AI ecosystem where there is a strong link between researchers and enterprises under the wise management and promotion of the municipal authorities.

The HCMC Department of Information & Communications has just submitted the program ‘Researching and Implementing AI in HCMC in the period from 2020-2030, with a vision to 2030’ to the People’s Committee, aiming at turning AI into the core technology in the smart city transformation and innovative urban area construction processes here.

AI is also expected to be the foundation for the sustainable digital economy development in the city.

In addition, the AI industry and IT industry in general are going to be the key fields to increase Gross Regional Domestic Product of the city, making it the national and regional center regarding researching and implementing AI applications.

Deputy Director of HCMC Department of Information & Communications Le Quoc Cuong said that the city has already identified specific goals to achieve the above mission, namely building suitable mechanisms and policies for AI development (including basic sufficient legal frames and preferential conditions for both AI research and pilot); constructing computing infrastructure (including the digital infrastructure and supercomputers to process and then analyze data in the AI ecosystem); creating the data infrastructure (including shared databases, common databases, open databases for various aspects of state offices and the community); forming a data connection for all state units with professional databases to serve the smooth operation of AI applications; developing and piloting AI applications in the fields of smart city, innovative urban area, and in any concerned issues of the public.

Deputy Director Cuong hoped that AI programs in the upcoming time are able to boost the quantity of small- and medium-scaled AI startups as well as attracting more capital for the AI field, encouraging enterprises to use AI in their digital transformation process to increase competitiveness.

In general, AI applications and products are projected to become the key industrial products of HCMC in the near future.

HCMC People’s Committee and the Ministry of Science & Technology agreed to organize Vietnam AI Festival 2020 as an event in the Week of HCMC Innovative, Startup and Entrepreneurship 2020 (WHISE 2020) from November 24 to 28 this year, themed ‘Addressing Traffic Problems in HCMC’.