AI application rise to come with a cost

October 26, 2023 | 19:00
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AI is predicted to help businesses increase profits, but not all local businesses can yet afford to develop and apply it, according to industry experts.

Data and AI company Vantix, owned by Vingroup, announced its dissolution in early October, ending its journey after more than three years. According to Vingroup, the dissolution is due to the restructuring of more than 100 subsidiaries in the group’s ecosystem.

AI application rise to come with a cost
AI application rise to come with a cost, illustration photo/ Source:

One of Vantix’s most notable achievements was the creation of vBand, a wearable device similar to a smartwatch that helped managers divide workloads evenly among team members. The product was applied by the Vinpearl Condotel Danang hotel among housekeeping staff, helping them increase labour productivity by 25 per cent and reduce cleaning time by 15 per cent, the hotel said.

The decline of AI projects like Vantix is not uncommon in Vietnam. Some businesses have been eager to enter the field, but quickly had to halt projects, including was the AI social tech company that launched social apps Fika in Vietnam last year and offered a second social network project called Leka earlier this year. However, the business could not raise enough capital and was forced to close the Fika project to focus on Leka.

According to the government’s AI Readiness Index for 2022 published by Oxford Insights in January, Vietnam ranks 55th out of 181 countries globally and ranks sixth out of 10 ASEAN member countries, demonstrated through the exploitation of AI applications to operate and provide services. Compared to the previous year’s results, Vietnam’s ranking has increased by seven places.

The country is estimated to boast more than 70,000 digital businesses, according to data from the Ministry of Information and Communications.

In 2021, Vietnam issued a national strategy for research, development, and application of AI towards 2030, bringing Vietnam into the top five of the ASEAN region and the group of 60 leading countries in the world in this area.

Tran Minh Vu, head of VNPT’s AI Business Department, said that Vietnam is ready for AI development. “The market in Vietnam is a potential playground and market opportunities are still open to all players,” he said.

However, Vu admitted that AI has not yet been thoroughly applied in this country. “The implementation of technology solutions faces difficulties in changing the cognitive culture of users and organisations. Only about 16 per cent of Vietnamese businesses apply AI, lower than the rate of 33 per cent in Asia and 36-37 per cent globally,” Vu said.

FPT, the largest IT service provider in Vietnam, currently owns the FPT.AI platform, including more than 20 advanced AI services deployed in 15 countries with 11 million users and 200 million communicators.

Director of AI of FPT Software Nguyen Xuan Phong said that AI would continue to be FPT’s key technology over the next three years, and this business is expected to invest at least $12.7 million to continue developing the AI ecosystem.

“AI can help businesses cut about 20 per cent of operating and business costs. In the programming industry, AI can create lines of code with fewer bugs and more usefulness, helping to save time and labour,” Phong said.

According to Tran Vu, who is CEO of Dell Technologies Vietnam, AI has long been used for solving complex problems, automating tasks, improving decision-making and enhancing efficiency and productivity.

“Dell has a four-pronged approach in our AI strategy, supporting users to more quickly deploy generative AI models with proven infrastructure. However, it is critical for businesses to first determine what they wish to accomplish with this before they can successfully leverage the tool to their full advantage,” Vu said.

Chairman of AI Next Global Cao Xuan Hoai Vuong said that AI was not a temporary trend but a turning point of the era and businesses that did not use it would be left behind.

“Developed countries such as Japan and Singapore all have AI development strategies. If Vietnam wants to promote the application of AI, ministries and relevant agencies need to consider AI as an opportunity for businesses to develop and rise,” Vuong said.

The global AI market in 2023 is estimated to have an investment value of $93 billion, an increase of 12 per cent compared to last year, and it is expected to reach $15.7 trillion by 2030, according to consulting company GlobalData.

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