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The Philippines to draft an Artificial Intelligence roadmap

The Philippine Government is crafting an artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap to improve productivity and economic growth as well as transform the country to be more globally competitive.

According to a recent report, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba shared that an AI task force composed of seven agencies will be drafting the road map.

Who are involved?

Aside from the DTI, other members of the AI task force include:

  1. The Departments of Agriculture (DA)
  2. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
  3. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
  4. The Department of Education (DepEd)
  5. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
  6. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)

These agencies have previously signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the implementation of the Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap, which is meant to build regional inclusive innovations centres (RIICs) across the country.

A task force is being formed because this will be affecting many industries. Hopefully, the task force will be conceived by August of this year.

A very broad AI roadmap has been crafted, wherein different necessary elements have been identified.

However, they want to present it to the task force in order to find ways in which it can be improved and eventually launched and presented to the public.

There will also be a public forum and focused group discussions to learn about the kinds of preparations needed as well as the ideas that the different sectors have.

Additionally, the government will also receive help from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM); the USAID through its Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development; and state universities, research institutions, and members of the industry.

Embracing new technology

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.

There is great need for that as the country’s industrialisation is lagging behind.

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.

In this way, the government could start attracting more investments, create more and better jobs, and increase participation in global value chains, which in turn will increase exports.

Having more and better high paying jobs will help reduce poverty and provide shared prosperity for all.

Improving on education

However, there is still a need to reskill the workforce, which can be achieved by improving the country’s education system, the ease of doing business, and the building infrastructures.

This is possible by improving on the education and training systems, which would deliver the necessary skills required in the digital economy.

Particular focus should be given on developing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

An ‘A’ can be added to the equation, which can stand for agriculture and the arts, thereby producing STEAM.

There is definitely a need for concerted efforts to guarantee that the shift towards the new digital economy or Industry 4.0 will not leave anyone behind.

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