AI applications will play a key role in Vietnam's competitiveness

Applications of AI

Top leaders discussed the prospects for generative AI at the Shidler Global Leadership Summit in Ho Chi Minh City on July 5. – Photo courtesy Shidler College of Business

HO CHI MINH CITY – The adoption of AI applications, especially generative AI, is key to boosting Vietnam's competitiveness on the international playing field, delegates said at the Shidler Global Leadership Summit.

The summit, organised by the Shidler School of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and held at Van Lang University in Binh Tan District on July 5, discussed the impact and applications of generative AI across a number of business sectors.

The event was attended by alumni of Shidler School of Management's Vietnam Executive MBA (VEMBA) program who are currently holding leadership roles in leading Vietnamese companies.

Professor Tung Bui, dean of Shidler's VEMBA faculty and head of global business at Matson Navigation Company, noted the concept of a new world order in which increased competition between major powers will lead to changes in global supply chains. Vietnam News.

Professor Tung Bui, Dean of VEMBA and Chair of Global Business at Matson Navigation Company, Shidler, University of Hawaii at Manoa. – Photo courtesy Shidler College of Business

Vietnam could benefit from these changes as countries seek to reduce their reliance on China as a producer and instead seek other partners such as Vietnam, India and Indonesia.

AI applications can help make the country more competitive in the global market, and Vietnam can leverage these tools to further its advantage, reduce costs and improve its position to attract other countries.

For example, it can reduce operational costs in processes such as quality control and inventory management, making production processes smarter and more efficient.

It also helps in market research and analysis of customer reactions, and reduces language and cultural barriers between Vietnamese companies and other countries.

Generative AI has become particularly popular because, for the first time, humans can converse with computers and give them commands (or prompts) at a conversational level, without the need to learn complex computer programming languages.

Generative AI tools can also process huge amounts of data at high speeds.

For AI applications to help improve competitiveness in the context of the new world order, this context needed to be included in the training of the applications.

To better support our users, we needed to understand the global context, their specific needs and challenges.

However, when using generative AI tools, it was important to be aware of pitfalls such as accidentally providing incorrect answers that appear to be reliable, providing misleading answers due to insufficient training data, or incorrect assumptions made by the AI ​​model or bias in the data used for training.

“Educated AI users need to have sharp critical thinking skills and intuition.”

AI applications also had to be fine-tuned for specific tasks.

Nguyen Ba Quyen, senior vice president and head of APJ markets and VDC at Hitachi Digital Services, said for AI tools to be effective, data needs to be accurate and properly stored to unlock its value.

Successful digital transformation relies on the right data platform, the right level of data governance and knowledgeable people with strong ethics, he said.

Mai Linh Giang, CEO of VNPT Group's Talent Development Centre, said AI tools could help improve labour productivity by leveraging big data to assist people in making decisions, automate processes to reduce working hours, and create and provide new services or improve existing ones.

With the help of AI tools, businesses can leverage data collected from customers across various services to improve customer service and develop solutions and services.

Nguyen Thi Tra My, CEO of PAN Group, said the agriculture sector is also part of the AI ​​trend as AI applications promote automation and efficient management of resources, improving productivity and quality.

But the application of AI to agriculture is hampered by challenges related to data, investment and labor, she said.

“By combining AI with the traditional experience of farmers, we can create agricultural models that are sustainable, efficient and adapted to real-world conditions.”

With the right data collection and organization, AI tools can preserve these traditional experiences and pass them on to future farmers, she said.

Despite technological advances, close collaboration between governments, farmers, scientists, businesses and consumers remains important, she added.

Experts in other fields discussed the use of AI in banking, healthcare, tourism, and more.

Leaders need to change their mindset

Quin said that over the past decade, Vietnam has become one of the top countries for producing talented people in the fields of software development and engineering, and many Western companies are now flocking to Vietnam to find the talent they need, significantly changing Vietnam's image in the global business world.

Young engineers are already incorporating AI applications such as ChatGPT into their work, and the younger workforce is generally quick to adopt technology.

However, events experts say many Vietnamese business leaders believe technological innovation is a waste of time, too risky or that they do not have the in-house talent to handle such changes.

Helping employees adapt to these new changes is important, but it can be difficult and time-consuming.

Quin said Vietnam's experience in technological development over the past decade falls short of that of superpowers and that it does not have enough top executives with the practical experience to lead the creation and implementation of complex technologies.

“For Vietnam to catch up, it needs to compare itself with developed countries. Business leaders need to think of themselves as internationals and not just stay within Vietnam.”

“It's not enough for Vietnam to be great entrepreneurs and technologists on its own. Current leaders have a huge responsibility to nurture the next generation of leaders.”

Jiang said that in order to adapt to AI applications and new changes, it is crucial for leaders to invest in their employees, and even themselves.

AI Case Studies

Nguyen Thi Thi Duong, vice president and chief revenue officer at FPT Automotive (FPT Software), said while many businesses are using AI chatbots for customer service, some are reluctant to use AI tools, fearing they will be replaced by them.

It can be difficult to convince manufacturing staff to adopt these tools, so it's important to show them how they can benefit through small tasks.

She gave the example of a company that is using cameras and AI applications to collect data about how employees receive their lunch in the cafeteria, then analyzing that data to help improve menus, reduce food waste and increase employee satisfaction.

Successful AI implementations can inspire other companies, she said, citing the example of the Long Chau Pharmacy chain, which uses AI mentoring tools to provide further training to new pharmacists, helping them learn easier every day, as well as using AI to significantly enhance inventory management, ensuring customers have consistent access to products.

The growth of AI is inevitable, so businesses need to find ways to leverage these tools to their advantage.

The Vietnam Executive MBA (VEMBA) program at the University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business offers unparalleled opportunities for career advancement. This AACSB-accredited program combines rigorous academic coursework with practical, on-the-job learning experiences, designed specifically for full-time executives. Since its inception in 2001, VEMBA has built a diverse cohort of 1,007 professionals from over 20 countries, providing a unique platform for networking and collaboration. The program's flexible hybrid format, combining face-to-face and online sessions, allows participants to manage professional commitments while earning their MBA. With faculty drawn from prestigious institutions and a strong alumni network, VEMBA stands out as a top choice for those aspiring to leadership and excellence in the global business field. – VNS

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