Meta hopes Vietnam will be the dragon of AI

Bao Tram
Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) - The Ministry of Planning and Investment, the National Innovation Centre and US tech giant Meta Group have announced the Vietnam Innovation Challenge (VIC) 2024, aiming to seek innovative solutions from domestic and international organizations and individuals to develop Vietnam’s semiconductor industry. Themed “Innovation to Accelerate the Semiconductor Industry and AI to Go Global”, the event aims to honor solutions that improve the quality of the semiconductor value chain’s design, packaging and testing phases, with priority given to AI applications, and those applying AI technology to support business building and development and improve productivity. VOV talked to Rafael Frankel, the Meta Group’s Director of Public Policy for South and Southeast Asia, about Meta’s support for Vietnam.
Meta hopes Vietnam will be the dragon of AI - ảnh 1Rafael Frankel, Meta Group’s Director of Public Policy for South and Southeast Asia, speaks at the launch of VIC 2024 (Photo credit: NIC)

Bao Tram: Meta has implemented multiple programs in Vietnam, including the Vietnam Innovation Challenge, to help the country accelerate digital transformation and develop a digital economy. Could you further elaborate on Meta’s support for Vietnam in digital transformation and the Vietnam Innovation Challenge in particular?

Rafael Frankel: Meta has been committed to supporting Vietnam’s digital transformation for a long time now. And the Vietnam Innovation Challenge is a core part of that mission here. As I mentioned in my comments, we brought the Prime Minister to our headquarters in California last year, where we were happy to demonstrate some of our new technology for him and some of the senior ministers.

And the other part of that, obviously, is bringing that technology here and trying to support Vietnam's digital economic growth, and the growth in these specific types of technologies that can really be force multipliers for launching Vietnam into the next era of technological innovation.

For those of you that have seen me talk in Vietnam before, you know, that I've said for many years, and I've always been struck by the fact that Vietnamese people are so entrepreneurial, and so determined, and so forward-looking. And so when we look at something like the Vietnam Innovation Challenge, I think it really plays to Vietnam's strengths, and all the areas that the Vietnamese people can really propel the economy here to grow.

Bao Tram:  In the first season last year, the VIC received 758 solutions, 25% of them from foreign countries with developed innovation ecosystems, like South Korea, the US, and Singapore. The program was mentioned in a White House press release about finding innovative solutions and promoting development for the Vietnamese economy. What do you expect in the 2024 program?

Rafael Frankel: In terms of what we're looking at this year, I think that this is a fantastic theme for 2024. In terms of semiconductors and AI, you have the hard infrastructure and the soft infrastructure to propel Vietnam’s sustainable growth. For Meta, we've been leaders in the AI field for many years already. And so we're very focused on trying to use AI, through our platforms and services, to help countries like Vietnam come into the next era. When I think about where Vietnam is going, I'd love to see Vietnam be the dragon of AI. The country really sends AI forward in Southeast Asia, along with a few others that are really leading in this area. And so I think we're extremely happy with the results we had in 2023. We're very excited about the potential for 2024, given these themes.

The last thing I'd say is Meta’s own AI products and services are going to expand in the Asia Pacific in 2024. We already have on the roadmap the launch of our Meta AI products on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram in 2024 in Asia Pacific, and Vietnam is currently on that roadmap. And so we're really excited about that tool, that will broadly support the SMEs of Vietnam, the businesses of Vietnam, to continue to innovate and continue to grow. And I'm happy to talk more about that if we have more time.

Bao Tram: As a leading tech firm in innovation, what has Meta done to help Vietnamese businesses realize their innovation ideas or plans? Does Meta have a long-term plan to promote and inspire innovation initiatives in Vietnam?

Rafael Frankel: What I would say is that we also are going to be focused on other partnerships where we're going to have the VCCI, I believe, come to California so that we can act as a bridge between Vietnamese businesses that want to learn from and form partnerships with American tech companies. That's an initiative we're going to try to support. We're also going to be working with the Ministry of Information and Communications on its Gameverse 2024, so we'll have Meta experts talking about how AI can be used to develop the gaming industry, and Vietnam plays a big part in that. Then I think the final piece is what Vietnam does with the 6 gigahertz spectrum, which is what we really need to see opened up for wifi in Vietnam. It's a core part of unlocking all of this innovation that Vietnam made a decision to unlock the 6 gigahertz band for wifi, because that's going to be the baseline that you need to propel all of these services going forward. That's another initiative that we'll really be looking forward to talking with the government about, so that it can really, as I said, act as a force multiplier going forward for Vietnam's digital economy.

Bao Tram: You said in your speech that AI is a trend. What resources does Meta have to help Vietnamese businesses keep up with this trend?

Rafael Frankel: You can see that over the long period, our Meta AI products are going to be extraordinary tools, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Vietnam is the number one Business Messaging country for Meta across the globe. We're going to be leaning into that again in 2024. We had a Business Messaging Summit in 2023. We're going to be doing that again this year.

All of that plays off of the SME training that we've been doing for many years already. We've trained over 85,000 SMEs across Vietnam in digital skills, and we're going to continue to do all that work. Between the AI products that we're going to be launching, the Business Messaging initiatives, the SME training, and obviously the Vietnam Innovation Challenge, which is the cornerstone of all that, there's going to be an immense amount that Meta is doing this year in 2024 to support the Vietnamese economy and Vietnamese businesses.

Bao Tram: Thank you, Mr. Frankel, for this talk.