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Scientists take first step to digitize Vietnamese knowledge system

VietNamNet Bridge - The Prime Minister has approved a project on developing a digitized system which systematizes, stores and disseminates Vietnamese knowledge in many fields.
VietNamNet Bridge - The Prime Minister has approved a project on developing a digitized system which systematizes, stores and disseminates Vietnamese knowledge in many fields.


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Besides digitizing scientific documents, the project would deal with many specialized complex issues in information technology, especially in the field of computer science. 

Therefore, a data bank with information in many different fields has started at a pilot component project at the IT Institute, an arm of the Hanoi National University. It is developing a Q&A (question & answer) service on Vietnamese culture, science and technology knowledge. The project is being implemented by a group of scientists headed by Dr Le Quang Minh.

Besides digitizing scientific documents, the project would deal with many specialized complex issues in information technology, especially in the field of computer science. 

The project is focusing on culture and languages of Vietnamese nationality and geology, natural sciences and the environment. “These are fields in which Hanoi National University has monograph works, like an ‘encyclopedia’. The works might only capture attention from in-depth researchers,” Minh said.

However, the job that Minh and his co-workers have to do is not simply copying books and digitizing them. They have to establish ‘knowledge trees’ and put it into different information units so as to best serve Q&As.

Minh hopes that by early 2018, at least 1,000 headings, or 4,000 information units and a community of using Q&A services of 1,200-1,500 students will be established. 

When asked to describe what the databank would be like, Minh said it would be ‘as diversified as Wikipedia and as convenient as Google’. The knowledge in the bank will be plentiful, while the structure will be designed in a way to allow users to easily search for information. 

Users will get answers to questions either in documents or by voice with the support of chatbots. The time units are calculated in seconds.

Some observers say the plan is too ambitious. Wikipedia can serve as a colossal databank with information in many different fields of science, life, society and arts, because it can gather a community of volunteers all over the world. And Google is a global technology firm which gathers leading experts on cloud computing, AI and big data.

Minh said at first, the data bank will only contain basic knowledge sourced from books and materials his team can collect. However, the knowledge will be enriched with the participation of the community and information added from different sources.


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