September 28, 2020

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The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry Signs with Data Scientists for AI Roadmap

Philippines AI Roadmap

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has tapped the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (ASITE) in order to start the process of crafting a roadmap, which will position the Philippines as an artificial intelligence (AI) powerhouse in Southeast Asia.

According to a recent report, the agreement for the formulation of an AI roadmap was formalised when DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba signed with Dr Christopher Monterola and Dr Erika Fille Legara, who are data scientists from AIM ASITE.

Significance of the AI Roadmap

  • The Undersecretary explained that the formulation of the AI roadmap is very important and timely.
  • This effort provides the impetus, which will move the country forward, in order to keep up with the rapidly changing times.
  • As technology becomes more important in everyday life, particularly in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), AI is seen to offer opportunities for the country to become competitive.
  • As AI is a bright spot for the Philippines, the government wants the country to tap into opportunities and retrain the workforce so that they will be equipped with the right skills to remain competitive and perform new functions.

Formulation of the AI Roadmap

  • During the signing of the agreement, the data scientists from AIM ASITE presented the framework for the formulation of the roadmap.
  • For the crafting of the roadmap, they highlighted two important steps: use of data and conduct consultations with stakeholders.
  • Amid concerns being raised on possible jobs displacement due to the use of AI, DTI is committed to listen and consider concerns and interests of various sectors in the roadmap.
  • An AI task force to be composed of academicians, government officials and industry stakeholders would also be set up for the formulation of the roadmap.

The AI Roadmap

  1. Through the roadmap, there would be an analysis of AI’s impact on the country’s industries and workforce.
  2. It would also provide recommendations on policies and programs such as AI trainings and AI laboratories.
  3. The roadmap would serve as a definite step to achieve the goal of the country to become an AI powerhouse in the region.
  4. The Philippines was reportedly third among Southeast Asian governments for AI readiness in 2019, as reckoned by Oxford Insights and the International Development Research Centre.
  5. With representations from government, academe and industry working together, the aspiration of becoming an AI Centre of Excellence can be achieved.
  6. OpenGov Asia recently reported on The Philippines to draft an Artificial Intelligence roadmap.
  7. The importance of shifting towards new technology was emphasised as this will make the manufacturing industry more efficient and scalable in order to leapfrog to industrial development.
  8. Furthermore, the need to embrace new technologies, encourage innovation, research and development (R&D) and provide support for start-ups are important for these will help improve productivity and competitiveness.