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AI Shaping Inclusive Growth in the Philippines

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In a resounding testament to the strides being made in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), Director Franz A de Leon, PhD, of the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) assumed a pivotal role at the AI Asia Expo – Philippines 2023 and Industrial Digital Transformation Congress. The event emerged as a collaborative platform, bringing together high-level officials, industry executives, and experts to deliberate on the responsible integration of AI across diverse sectors.

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Dr Franz illuminated the immense potential for growth and innovation in AI within the Philippines. During this strategic gathering, discussions reverberated around crucial topics such as ethics, governance, and the transformative impact of AI on industries, all geared towards contributing to the nation’s economic development.

The Director’s emphasis on fostering an ecosystem valuing research, creativity, and ethical AI implementation underscored a commitment to positioning the Philippines not merely as a consumer but as an innovator within the broader Asian AI landscape.

Addressing the challenges of AI adoption, Dr Franz underscored the necessity of collaboration with partner organisations and stakeholders in government, academia, and industry. This collaborative spirit ensures that the breakthroughs in AI research seamlessly transition into practical applications, bridging the gap between theoretical exploration and tangible impact.

The commitment to democratising AI access took centre stage in Dr Franz’s discourse. Recognising the transformative power of AI for national development, he highlighted its potential to enhance public services, ensure equitable access, and improve citizens’ interactions with the government. By democratising access to AI, the DOST-ASTI aims to make cutting-edge technology accessible to all, fostering innovation and broadening AI’s positive impact across the country.

Further exemplifying its commitment to regional collaboration and innovation, DOST-ASTI partnered with the Philippine Statistics Authority Regional Statistical Services Office in MIMAROPA. At the 2nd MIMAROPA Data Festival, Elmer C Peramo, a technical expert from DOST-ASTI, delved into the fundamentals of Data Science and AI. He highlighted the potential of these technologies to propel the country’s technological landscape forward.

The iTANONG and ASTI-Automated Labeling Machine (ASTI-ALaM) projects, championed by DOST-ASTI, were spotlighted during the festival. These initiatives underscored the institute’s commitment to democratising advanced AI technologies, ensuring that the benefits of AI-driven progress are not confined to urban centres. Instead, regional communities are encouraged to leverage AI to address their unique challenges, fostering a more inclusive technological landscape.

The 2nd MIMAROPA Data Festival became a platform for DOST-ASTI to engage with statisticians, data experts, and stakeholders, gaining valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities unique to the region.

This commitment to regional empowerment aligns with DOST-ASTI’s vision of advancing cutting-edge AI technology nationwide, fostering local innovation, and shaping a future where AI acts as a catalyst for positive change and significant national development.

According to DOST-ASTI, AI innovation drives multifaceted advantages for national development. Streamlining processes, optimising resources, and fostering economic growth, AI creates new job opportunities, positioning nations as technological leaders. In governance, it enhances public services and facilitates informed decision-making through data analysis.

Societal impact is evident in improved healthcare, education, and public safety, promoting inclusivity. AI also contributes to environmental sustainability and necessitates capacity building for a skilled workforce.

Likewise, it enhances national security by bolstering surveillance and defence capabilities. Extending its reach regionally, AI bridges urban-rural gaps, fostering inclusive development and positioning nations on a trajectory of sustained progress and innovation.


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