Vietnam’s academy to train 1 million residents on blockchain and AI

Keen to occupy a leading position in emerging technologies, civil societies in Vietnam have launched the Vietnam Academy of Blockchain and AI Innovation (ABAII) to quicken the pace of digitization.

According to a local news report, ABAII will contribute its quota to transform Vietnam’s digital economy amid a wave of foreign investments and government initiatives. ABAII debuted at an annual blockchain and AI forum in Hanoi, with participants tipping the project as the “big leap” for the ecosystem.

Details from the launch reveal ABAII’s ambitious goal of training one million Vietnamese residents in AI and blockchain before the end of the decade. It is unclear where funding for the mass education drive will come from, although sources remain optimistic that the initiative will have full backing from the government.

For starters, ABAII will be training an initial target of 100,000 students in the short term, drawn from 30 universities across the Southeast Asian country. The initiative intends to equip the residents with various AI and blockchain training courses, practical workshops, and annual university tours.

Students will be provided with keen insights on potential career opportunities relating to blockchain and AI while a module will be dedicated to ethics and safe usage.

Executives say ABAII will drive interest in higher institutions of learning through a combination of hackathons and ideation but will not be limited to universities. ABAII has tested the waters through a university tour of five leading universities, racking impressive interest rates across the student population.

Đào Trung Thành, deputy director of the project, confirmed the endowment of 50 scholarships to technical students “to promote the universalisation of blockchain and AI” in the country.

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Vietnam’s young and tech-savvy population is no stranger to blockchain, with the country leading the DeFi ranking in the ASEAN region ahead of Thailand and Malaysia. Furthermore, residents of Vietnam have previously cut their teeth with play-to-earn games like the native Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained.

AI could pull clear of the pack

Although Vietnam continues to eye AI and blockchain as the twin pillars of its digitization drive, analysts predict AI will surge in relevance and utility. They hinge their arguments on an influx of foreign capital to prop up the local AI ecosystem, with Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) famously pledging massive investment sums in the country.

The U.S. chip-making giant has inked a deal with local IT firm FPT to establish a semiconductor plant to operate as a “one-stop shop” for AI in Vietnam. In 2023, the U.S. pledged to deepen economic ties with Vietnam in areas of AI and innovation, famously remaining mum on blockchain.

“We’re deepening our cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, particularly around building a more resilient semiconductor chain,” said U.S. President Joe Biden.

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