HCM City should embrace AI technologies: experts

March 11, 2021 | 09:37 am GMT+7

HCM City must focus on research and development of artificial intelligence, especially training human resources in AI, experts have said.


Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the aim was to promote R&D in AI applications in the next five years.
AI is increasingly used in various fields like transportation, public security, production, finance, and e-commerce. 
The city hopes to annually increase by 20 per cent the number of scientific works, AI patents and AI applications, and to invite leading foreign AI experts to work in the city.
While AI technologies are used in many sectors in the city, research and training are weak compared to other places in the world, and it also lacks AI experts, scientists and policymakers, according to the official. 
According to a master plan for developing IT human resources, Việt Nam needs one million workers in the field but only 600,000 IT students are trained at 400 higher educational institutes and eight major IT training centres as of the end of last year.
Statistics from the Institute of Information Technology Strategy show 72 per cent of IT students lack practical experience while 42 per cent are weak in team work. Only 15 per cent of IT graduates meet their employers’ requirements and do not need much further training.
The country has more than 700 IT companies, 220 of them foreign-owned, mostly based in major cities or software parks. 
Despite the huge likely demand for AI experts in future, the field has attracted little attention in the country, and no university offers comprehensive courses in it.
Most curriculums only focus on software. 
Experts said the city should catch up with global AI trends by investing in training and building an open-source database. 
It should establish AI departments at universities and develop new courses, they said. 
It should encourage businesses to embrace AI to enhance their competitiveness, and solicit investment in and promote AI products made locally, they said.
It should set up AI hubs that include training centres connected with one another through the city’s data centre and infrastructure, they added.
Vũ Hải Quân, director of the Việt Nam National University of HCM City, said the city should develop an AI research and training team, build digital infrastructure, offer incentives to encourage enterprises to use AI, and improve human resources in AI.
Linkages between the state, businesses, scientists, and investors should also be promoted, he said.
The city should focus on developing start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field, he added.