Artificial intelligence to hit Vietnam hard

By Bich Ngoc   September 13, 2018 | 05:00 pm PT
Artificial intelligence to hit Vietnam hard
Experts discuss job availability in Southeast Asia during industry 4.0 era. Photo by Reuters
Vietnam’s among top 3 ASEAN countries that will face AI-related employment problems, a new study has found.

The study was carried out Cisco, a multinational technology conglomeratem and Oxford Economics, a firm that specializes in global forecasting and qualitative analysis.

Results of the study were revealed at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018 in Hanoi on Wednesday.

Cisco ASEAN regional director Naveen Menon said the study looked into 430 jobs in 21 different industries across six different countries (Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines) to project potential impacts over the next decade.

It found that 28 million workers out of a 630 million workforce in the six countries would be affected by AI.

Singapore would be the worst hit with 21 percent, followed by Vietnam (13.8 percent), the Philippines (10 percent), Indonesia (8 percent), Malaysia (7.4 percent), and Thailand (2 percent).

Around 6.6 million out of the 28 million workers are likely to become "redundant" in the next 10 years, Menon said, adding that these people would have to switch jobs, learn new skills, or look for jobs in a different country.

“For instance, manpower in the Philippines would have to relocate to Vietnam since some particular jobs are no longer needed there,” Menon said.

Luong Thi Le Thuy, CEO of Cisco Vietnam, acknowledged the potential impacts and said that industries are looking to apply technology to overcome the challenges and grab new opportunities.

Vietnam has been an attractive destination for foreign investors because of its low labor costs, but this advantage could change in the coming five to 10 years since the majority of Vietnamese workers are still unskilled, she said.

Cisco recommends that countries and businesses provide opportunities for employees to be re-trained and prepare for “change-ready skills”, she added.

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