The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched Tuesday the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Roadmap which is expected to contribute $92 billion to the Philippine economy as projected by US consultancy Kearney.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said AI could provide socially-relevant solutions to the problems faced by Philippine society.
“Through the AI Roadmap, we hope to establish the Philippines as an ‘AI Center for Excellence’ in the region that is backed by our rich local talent pool and vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Our country can also serve as a big data processing hub providing high-value data analytics and AI services to the world, and this can become our next higher value, higher paying service-winner after the BPO industry,” he said.
AI is expected to revolutionize many aspects of the economy like the autonomous vehicle technology in the automotive industry and AI-driven precision farming that can drastically decrease losses borne of pests and natural disasters, Lopez said.
The AI Roadmap will provide guidance on the use of AI to maintain the regional and global competitiveness of local industries; identify key areas, in both R&D and technology application; recommend ways for effectively fostering a triple-helix of R&D collaboration among government, industry and academe; 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.
For Philippine businesses and industries, AI technologies can reduce operational costs, increase efficiency, grow revenue and improve customer experience. By deploying the right AI technology, businesses can save time and money by automating and optimizing routine processes and tasks.
Lopez said that while there is the fear that AI would automate many jobs, depriving millions of Filipinos of employment, 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 us to create a knowledge-based economy, which we can leverage to create a more inclusive and prosperous society. In the rush of creativity and imagination, the shift toward AI-based systems will likely cause the economy to add jobs that facilitate this transition,” he said.
The Roadmap highlighted a premise that AI is expected to create more wealth than it destroys, with more Filipinos engaging in finding solutions, establishing new startups and experimenting on numerous business applications and consumer uses. It will engage people especially entrepreneurs to innovate, generate new forms of higher-paying jobs and create more sources in the process.
The DTI will establish the private sector-led National Center for AI Research which will serve as the country’s shared hub for AI research that will be instrumental in making the Philippines an AI powerhouse.
It will be responsible for advancing scientific discoveries in AI and play a pivotal role in nurturing and developing AI talent and data science leaders. The consultancy services offered by the center will benefit government agencies, industries and other research centers in the country.
“In particular, the N-CAIR will encourage companies to adopt AI by building their capacity to produce new products, processes, and services that use AI,” Lopez said.