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HCM City develops wide-ranging AI strategy

HCM City is drawing up a wide-ranging plan to promote artificial intelligence (AI) development and research in the near future, Duong Anh Duc, deputy chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, has said.

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Students at the HCM City University of Natural Sciences conduct research on an "intelligent” traffic-light system based on vehicle density. — Photo sggp.org.vn

The municipal People’s Committee recently met with Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui The Duy to discuss the national AI strategy and organisation of a 2020 Vietnam Artificial Intelligence Day.

Duc said the city would prioritise investment in human resources and work with the Ministry of Science and Technology in the field of AI.

“City leaders of departments and agencies are ready and determined to support the AI development programme,” he said.

Duy said the ministry had drafted a national AI strategy, focusing on transport, logistics, tourism, e-commerce, telecommunications, education, urban management, social management and public administration.

The draft strategy proposes building three AI innovation centres in the country, one of which will be located in HCM City.

The city has a high density of universities, research institutes and oganisations, and high volume of trade from more than 10 million residents and 30,000 enterprises.

With this great potential, the city targets forming an AI ecosystem that will include close linkages between researchers and businesses, and encouragement from city authorities, departments and sectors.

In March last year, the Department of Information and Communications in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology organised a workshop on AI research and application in the city for the 2019-25 period.

The city has about 30 AI development programmes now being developed at universities and institutes, and has built a database of AI experts, AI research units and applications.

A board composed of members in AI research collaboration and application is also being formed.

Last year, an international seminar called “International and domestic experience on AI research and application - Recommendations for the city" was held by the city’s People's Committee and the World Bank in Vietnam in September.

It discussed the implementation of the programme on building an ecosystem for AI application in the 2019-25 period.

In June, the committee launched a contest to discover outstanding solutions and products in AI application. It is open to all domestic and foreign individuals and organisations.

Key economic sector 

The city’s Department of Information and Communications has submitted to the People's Committee a programme on research and development of AI applications for the 2020-30 period, which calls for AI to become the core technology in building a creative and smart city for rapid and sustainable economic development.

The programme aims to make AI a key technology in digital transformation. The AI industry will be one of the city's key economic sectors.

Under the proposal, the city will become the centre in the country and the region for research, deployment and transfer of AI applications, and one of the leading cities in AI development in the ASEAN region.

Le Quoc Cuong, deputy director of the department, said the programme would promote AI startups and SMEs as well as investment in the field of AI.

“Businesses will use AI applications in digital transformation to enhance competitiveness,” he said.

He said the city would also create special policies and a data and computing infrastructure for AI development.

All State management agencies will have databases connected in AI applications.

The city will also mobilise investment capital to develop AI businesses, brands, products and applications.

The committee and the ministry have agreed to hold the Vietnam AI Festival on November 27-28 during the city's Innovation and Startup Week slated for November 24-28.  VNS

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