Though HCM City has applied AI technologies in a number of sectors, it lags behind other cities in the world in AI research and training, Phong told a seminar on AI research and application on March 20, elaborating that the city lacks AI experts, scientists and policymakers.
Phong said the city should catch up with the global trend of AI. Such efforts include investment in training skilled workers and building an open-source database, he said.
In addition, training in the field remains limited because of a lack of funding, he said, adding that both State and business investments are badly needed.
Although HCM City has paid great attention to AI, the city lacks a staff capable of accessing AI research at the global level, Phong noted.
Linkages between the state, enterprises, scientists and investors should also be promoted, the chairman suggested.
AI is being used in many fields, including transport, public security, production, finance and e-commerce, among others.
Prof. Ho Tu Bao, of the Vietnam Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics, said the city should build a digital infrastructure, issue incentive policies to encourage enterprises to apply AI, and improve human resources in AI.
It also needs to speed up e-government and build a data sharing system for the city, he added.
A survey of 500 Vietnamese firms conducted last year by Vietnam Report found that only 13.6 percent of the firms had invested in AI in production and business.
More than 18 percent said they were studying the model and 18.2 percent had plans for investment in the coming two to three years.
However, nearly 50 percent of the surveyed companies had not developed plans for AI investment, according to the survey.
Speaking at the seminar, Dr Vu Hai Quan, Deputy Director of the Vietnam National University-HCM City, quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying a nation that leads in AI “will be the ruler of the world”.
Quan said the city should focus on applying AI in healthcare, transport, automation, national defence and robotics.
AI as well as big data, cloud computing and machine learning are all important. With big data, people will be able to “teach” machines to provide analyses based on AI through the cloud platform.
The most important breakthroughs in AI technology are being made in the fields of image and speech recognition as well as natural language processing, he said.
“Take the increasing rate of cancer deaths in Vietnam, for example. With enough data, computers with artificial brains could help us detect cancer in the early stage,” he said.
Tran Minh Triet, vice dean of HCM City University of Technology, said that HCM City should focus on developing human resources, setting up open databases, and expanding connections between HCM City universities and international institutions to tap into the global wells of knowledge.
He said it was vital to form AI research groups in areas such as market, data, application deployment, training and basic research.
Experts have also recommended that AI scientists and experts build a strong network of AI think tanks in the city.
The meeting was organised by the People’s Committee in cooperation with the city’s Department of Information and Communications and Department of Science and Technology.
This was the first workshop in a series of three workshops to be held this year within the framework of the project “Building an Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem in HCM City” in the 2019 -2025 period.