Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup has become the first in Southeast Asia to install the newly-announced NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD AI supercomputer.
The powerful system will power VinAI Research, Vingroup’s machine-learning lab, in global initiatives that span autonomous vehicles, healthcare and consumer services.
One of the lab’s missions is to develop the AI smarts for an upcoming fleet of autonomous electric cars from VinFast, the group’s automotive division, driving its way to global markets.
“By July, a fleet of cars will start sending us their data from operating 24/7 in real traffic conditions over millions of miles on roads in the US and Europe, and that’s just the start — the volume of data will only increase,” said Hung Bui, Director of VinAI Research.
His team will harness the data to design and refine at least a dozen AI models to enable level 3 autonomous driving capabilities for VinFast’s cars.
Hung believes the DGX SuperPOD can accelerate by at least 10x the AI work of the NVIDIA DGX A100 system VinAI currently uses, letting engineers update their models every 24 hours.
“That’s the goal, it will save a lot of engineering time, but we will need a lot of help from NVIDIA,” he said.
With a DGX SuperPOD in place, Hung hopes to attract and develop more world-class AI talents in Vietnam.
“AI technology is a way to move the company forward, and it can make a lot of impact on the lives of people in Vietnam,” he said.
VinAI has developed an AI model that lets users of VinSmart handsets unlock their phones using facial recognition — even if they are wearing a face mask. At the same time, core AI researchers on his team developed Pho-BERT, a version for Vietnamese of the giant Transformer model used for natural-language processing.
The research lab is a forerunner in the use of technology to drive its efforts. Last year, it became the first company in Southeast Asia to install a DGX A100 system.
“We’ve been using the latest hardware and software from NVIDIA quite successfully in speech recognition, NLP and computer vision, and now we’re taking our work to the next level with a perception system for driving,” said Hung.