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Sophia the Robot’s Message to Vietnam: 'You Are Already Halfway There'

On July 13, an international conference on Industry 4.0 in Hanoi featured Sophia, a social humanoid robot, as a guest speaker, and she had a message for Vietnam.

Sophia appeared on stage wearing Vietnam’s traditional áo dài. Claiming to represent the 4.0 era, she commended the country for its vibrant startup ecosystem, while urging it to embrace new technologies at an even faster rate to further improve its economy, reports VnExpress.

“I heard that the startups in Vietnam are already exciting and dynamic, so you are already halfway there,” Sophia said, according to the news source. “Such technology can help Vietnam make a huge leap in productivity, which in turn will further boost the economy."

Industry 4.0 refers to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, in which artificial intelligence and the internet of things play a pivotal role.

In Sophia’s opinion, Vietnam should collaborate with agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to ensure that technology will benefit Vietnamese people, especially those from marginalized communities.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also attended the conference and, according to VnExpress, stated that Vietnamese youth must have access to the right education to maximize their employment prospects in Industry 4.0.

“We will not leave anyone behind,” he said, before stressing Vietnam’s need to develop a workforce and investment policies relevant to the 4.0 era. He promised to change Vietnam’s preconceptions, take concrete action and integrate technological developments, the news source shared.

He added that the country must strengthen its IT infrastructure and startup scene, as the tech revolution could affect jobs and create unemployment.

In a 2018 report from the World Economic Forum, out of 100 countries with the highest GDP, Vietnam ranked 90th in technology and innovation and 77th in capability for innovation. 

[Photo via Tuoi Tre]


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