Vietnam (RedFOX Labs) — Indonesia’s President, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, has a distinct strategy for halving his bureaucracy’s bloat. With government waste stifling growth as well as investments into the country, the leader is utilizing emerging technology to right the ship.

Jokowi is streamlining operations by issuing a decree for his ministers to bisect the country’s public servants. His tool of choice? Artificial Intelligence. While some displaced workers undoubtedly complain about robots ‘stealing’ their jobs, there’s no thievery at play. Instead, AI’s implementation revolves around simplification, automation, precision, and user-friendliness.

In other words, unproductive, ineffectual government workers see replacement from speedier, more accurate, sleepless, emotion-free algorithms. In the short term, jobs suffer. In the long run, however, the wheels of progress spin freely. Although AI is still considered an ‘emerging’ tech, a mere label won’t impede its developmental leaps and bounds. And inside the emerging markets of Southeast Asia, AI deployment is a growing trend.

Vietnam Leads AI Push

Across all sectors, Singapore is Southeast Asia’s AI adoption leader. But within the “High Tech and Telecom” category, the highest rate of AI penetration is right here in Vietnam.

Image credit: McKinsey Global Institute; theaseanpost

Multiple factors drive organizational decisions to leverage AI, but cost-savings always underpin the thought process. When companies deploy virtual personnel — working 24/7 and never collecting a paycheck — expenditures decrease while profits expand.

Along with increasing efficiencies, AI plays a substantial role in the concept of digital inclusion. Folded adequately into a product’s user experience, AI serves as a guide that quickens onboarding processes and flattens learning curves. Digital inclusion means giving everyone — with Internet access — the chance to benefit from the world’s latest tech innovations. While overly-complex products push people away, intuitive products pull them in.

Within the domain of mobile apps, AI’s breakthrough use-case is the helpful chatbot. These virtual concierges lead newcomers along an app’s most direct route. Rather than hire staff responsible for customer outreach, companies can train bots to handle frequently asked questions.

The approach may seem impersonal on the surface. However, in today’s consumer environment of online shopping and physical stores’ self-checkout lanes, human-machine interaction is increasingly prevalent. Also, because of inherent nonstop operation, chatbots can offer a user experience — en masse — greatly exceeding that of human counterparts. No matter how enthusiastic or well-trained, people require far more downtime.

AI Meets Blockchain

RedFOX Labs uses progressive tech to replicate proven business models and facilitate digital inclusion within Southeast Asia’s emerging markets. SEA’s Internet economy is growing at a record pace. But to capture the majority of its unrealized value, the region’s unbanked must be part of the equation.

Because only 26% of Southeast Asia’s adult population utilizes traditional financial instruments, opportunities abound within the region. Bringing the stragglers aboard involves a healthy dose of inclusive business practices.

RedFOX is now building a rewards and cashback app for the citizens of Myanmar. With iterations rolling out to other countries within the region, the app functions as a direct portal to the Internet economy. Through the smartphone application, some users will perform their first online transaction.

Plus, a new partnership is injecting AI into future RedFOX products. More specifically, a chatbot named ALICE is setting up shop inside the upcoming rewards app.

Last week, RedFOX teamed up with Misfit Technologies so that both organizations can share each other’s technological advancements. RedFOX brings the blockchain expertise while Misfit takes the lead on the AI front.

By using Misfit’s chatbots, RedFOX officially joins the ranks of tech companies adopting AI in Vietnam. The CEO and co-founder of RedFOX Labs, Ben Fairbank, had this to say about the new partnership:

“We’re thrilled to have award-winning chatbots guiding users through our digital products. A virtual workforce frees us to focus on building new ventures. AI and blockchain are an exciting combination and we look forward to enhancing our offerings with the help of Misfit’s tech.

And for us, blending these emerging technologies is only the beginning. Automation and user-friendliness also extend to robotics and IoT devices. RedFOX actively hunts for methods to digitally include the underserved citizens of SEA and deeper tech integration is on the horizon.”

Looking beyond temporarily displaced personnel, AI holds the key to effortless administration. Like blockchain’s ability to shake unnecessary intermediaries out of markets, AI disassembles workforce redundancy. In other words, a few lost jobs today serve the refined efficiencies of tomorrow.

From government to private to public sectors, the future is automated. And from our Vietnam headquarters, RedFOX Labs is willing to use AI along with any disruptive tech fit to drive digital inclusion in SEA.