Vietnam ranks 6th in ASEAN in terms of AI readiness index

Vietnam has climbed 14 places to the 62nd in the 2021 Government Artificial Intelligence (AI) Readiness Index, according to an annual index report released by the UK’s Oxford Insights in collaboration with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

With an overall score of 51.82 out of 100, Vietnam ranked 6th in the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN). This is the first year its score has surpassed the global average of 47.42.

Ly Hoang Tung, deputy head of the High Technology Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said the evaluation and construction of the index are based on many factors such as human resources training, technology, application, and especially the emergence of a national strategy on AI.

The report highlighted the importance of national AI strategies, stating that Indonesia and Vietnam have both released their own strategy and scored the maximum point in the 2021 vision. 

Indonesia's AI strategy focuses on health services, bureaucracy reform, education and research, food security, mobility and smart city while Vietnam sets out ambitions to become one of the leading countries in the region in AI research, development and application. 

About 30% of the countries in the rankings have a national AI strategy, and 9% confirm that they are working towards one.

According to Chu Van Thang, Australia-Vietnam Innovation Partnership (Aus4Innovation) programme consultant, the increase of investment in new technologies such as AI of some countries including Vietnam is the right decision. 

The ranking helps governments improve the delivery of public services, he said.

The indicator is being used as a tool to compare the current state of government AI readiness in countries and regions across the globe.

The US topped the rankings with 88.16 points owing to the size and maturity of its technology sector. Singapore ranked second with 82.46 as a result of its institutional strength and government digital capacity. The other countries in the top five are the United Kingdom, Finland and the Netherlands.