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Rapid Development of AI Processing in the Philippines

AI is more than just a technology; it is becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives. Every day, people see emerging trends in every aspect of life, from politics to economics. People can now easily access many points that were previously inaccessible due to advances in technology, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT). AI has the potential to significantly improve workplace efficiency and eliminate the need for humans to perform time-consuming tasks. When Artificial Intelligence takes over repetitive or dangerous tasks, it frees up humans, order to perform creative tasks while still leaving enough room and time for interpersonal aspects of their lives.

Regarding the growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in recent decades, the processing of artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to be an emerging industry for the Philippines. Reporting to the President and the Nation, Department of Trade, and Industry (DTI) Secretary stated that the government and private sector are working together to expand AI technology in the country. He was confident that the Philippines could be a big data processing hub and that AI would be the next centre for excellence after BPO – which the Philippines is known for

In other words, big companies will not have a monopoly of Artificial Intelligence; AI is a technology that any company can use, including SMEs, through data processing.”

– Department of Trade, and Industry (DTI) Secretary

When the DTI released the industry blueprint last May, the Philippines became one of the first 50 countries in the world to launch a national AI roadmap. The national AI roadmap aims to transform the country into an AI powerhouse in the region. AI adoption, according to a research firm, has the potential to add USD92 billion to the Philippine economy by 2030. According to the national AI roadmap, the country will establish the government-initiated National Centre for AI Research, which will be led by the private sector (NCAIR).

OpenGov Asia reported with the launching of the AI roadmap, the DTI targets to guide the use of AI to maintain the regional and global competitiveness of local industries; and identify key areas, in both research and development and technology application, for investing time and resources of government, industry, and broader society. It also aims to recommend ways for effectively fostering a triple-helix of research and development (R&D) collaboration among government, industry, and academe, which would be essential to national development; put forward approaches for preparing the future workforce for the jobs of the future; and attract the biggest industries to set shop in the country, which would generate more jobs for Filipinos.

The agency emphasised that AI is a vital innovation amid the COVID-19 pandemic where human-to-human interaction should be limited. AI can also be used in contact tracing, health assessment and monitoring, knowledge management, and addressing supply chain issues. While there is this fear that AI will automate so many jobs that millions of Filipinos might find themselves unemployed, this fear should instead be viewed as opportunities for new possibilities. The structure of the workforce will change. Newer, better, and higher-income jobs will emerge. AI will also allow the country to create a knowledge-based economy, which we can leverage to create a more inclusive and prosperous society.

Department of Trade, and Industry (DTI) Secretary said Asian Institute for Management Data Science Laboratory will be the technology partner for the NCAIR. “As we provide those research projects, we are training data scientists from universities… We can develop many data scientists, who eventually will establish their own AI company, or they will be hired by companies. So, we are producing high-tech jobs through the research centre,” he added. The DTI chief said AI helps companies including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to be more competitive and efficient with their operations.

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