FPT aims to bring AI in Vietnam to world class

FPT-CTO-Mr-Le-Hong-Viet
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FPT CTO – Mr. Le Hong Viet shared that, the corporation aches to bring AI to every aspect of life, through training, research, and product development.

FPT had recently partnered with Mila – a world-leading research faculty in AI technology. This is one notable event in the Vietnamese tech community during this “new normalcy”. The FPT representative also disclosed some AI developmental plans of FPT in the near future.

FPT CTO – Mr. Le Hong Viet.

FPT CTO – Mr. Le Hong Viet.

What led FPT to partner with Mila AI Research Institute, sir?

From our early days in researching and applying AI, we had had the ambition to bring Vietnamese AI technology to world-class. Our collaboration with world leaders in AI like Mila will be one important stepping stones towards this goal.

Mila had had 27 years of experience in AI research. At the moment, there are around 500 AI researchers in their league, including Mr.  Yoshua Bengio – one of the three winners of ACM A.M. Turing, which is basically the Nobel Prize of IT. He is also known as the “AI godfather” – a pillar of the AI world.

Even the most well-known tech giants are partnering or were partnered with Mila, including Hitachi, Google, Microsoft, and so on. All these firms had experts to work directly in the many laboratories of the Institute. And as this partnership went through, FPT would also be named in this list.

How did FPT manage to convince such a pillar to become your partner?

It took us around 6 months from proposing to succeeding. According to Mila, the two factors that led to their agreement were our AI research and application capability, as well as our similar insights to change Vietnam with this technology.

FPT had shared our plan to treat AI as the core platform in this digital revolution, by developing AI applications to bring technologies to every business. Mila was also pleasantly surprised by FPT’s AI research capability, especially in a nation commonly regarded as underdeveloped in the tech field.

With the shared goal to bring AI not only to leading firms and developed nations, Mila also wants AI to penetrate countries that are ready to accept this technological resource, and amplify it as much as possible. Meanwhile, Vietnam is showing quick improvements in AI applications in products.

FPT also stands out from other businesses in that it owns a university, and is focusing on training and cultivating talents, in order to build an AI Center in Vietnam. These reasons had led Mila to believe in the huge changes that would result from this long-term partnership.

 

FPT and Mila AI Research Institute had official joined hands at the online contract signing session, hosted the recent June 12, live in Hanoi and Montreal (Canada).

FPT and Mila AI Research Institute had official joined hands at the online contract signing session, hosted the recent June 12, live in Hanoi and Montreal (Canada).

 

What aspect of the contract do you consider most important?

According to the partnership contract signed on June 12, FPT and Mila will cooperate in 4 aspects, including Improving FPT’s AI technology capabilities; Strategic consulting for building an AI Research Center in Quy Nhon (Binh Dinh province, Vietnam); Training and Exchanging quality AI human resources; and seeking development opportunities in Mila’s partnership ecosystem.

At first, FPT shall discuss with Mila for solutions to improve the abilities of AI experts in FPT.

Why Binh Dinh, a relatively new name on the IT map, for your AI Center?

In fact, Binh Dinh’s orientation has long been to become a technology center, and has been planning and developing AI Center and science settlement projects. Last year, 14 Nobel prize winners even went to Binh Dinh to host a conference there, and as such, FPT’s plan for an AI Center had been met with absolute approval from the province’s authorities.

The AI Center in Binh Dinh will turn the place into Vietnam’s “AI core”. First, we will build a FPT University branch in Quy Nhon, and focus on deep training of this technology. The school is to be built and opened in the next year and shall provide the future job market with thousands of capable IT engineers.

At this university, students will get more chances to attend large conferences, joint research programs, apply AI technologies, and solve FPT’s real use cases. FPT will also actively invite international AI experts to teach and share their knowledge with students. These golden opportunities and the highly technological atmosphere of the school will be extremely helpful for improving the new generation of tech human resources.

On a larger scale, how will Vietnam’s AI research and application environment benefit from the partnership?

Mila is very successful in bringing science to life. Aside from basic researches, they also collaborate with partners to perform applicable projects with high practicality, like a Machine learning application for Covid-19 prevention, countering climate change…

With our ability and passion to absorb the latest AI technologies, FPT expects the partnership with Mila to help build an AI ecosystem in Vietnam, with Binh Dinh as the core; create experiences and opportunities to improve skills among the Vietnamese young tech community, allowing Vietnamese students to access state-of-the-arts in AI. Should the student be qualified, we may even attempt to bring them for internships at international AI centers.

FPT’s AI solutions and products often aim at practicality, and hope to benefit millions of people.

FPT’s AI solutions and products often aim at practicality, and hope to benefit millions of people.

As the CTO, in which direction to you want FPT’s AI development to go for?

FPT’s focus is practicality, which is to bring as many AI researches into reality as possible, instead of just studying to publish articles in tech journals and papers.

As a proof, FPT currently has over 70 businesses using their AI products, with a large portion in finance-banking, retail, and insurance, thus directly benefiting around 11.5 million people.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more businesses are seeking AI applications and tools. With these, companies can automatize resource-consuming tasks of call centers, save costs, and improve work efficiency as well as business operations.

As a large business with certain impacts on the community, what are FPT’s AI insights for the upcoming future?

From specific and particular steps, we want to socialize AI – bringing the technology to everyone. In our vision, tech equality will be prevalent, not only for developed countries but also for others like Vietnam. Foreign banks and services are now 90% automatic, so why can’t we do the same? In this age with the technology gap constant closing between nations, whoever better utilizes their opportunities will be faster to reach their aim for digital societies.

Source: VnExpress

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