The Department of Trade and Industry and Microsoft, together with several other stakeholders, has launched the AI Pilipinas Coalition which seeks to empower people and organizations through the use of artificial intelligence.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez emphasized the critical role technology, in particular AI, will play in the nation’s economic recovery.
“A number of startups in the country are offering AI solutions to consumers and businesses. And they are accelerating the integration of AI technologies and tools in day-to-day transactions, making them more accessible to the public," Lopez said.
"But even as there is an increase in use of AI and other Industry 4.0 technologies, our industries have yet to harness the benefits of such technologies and overcome key challenges to their adoption. The DTI intends to continue supporting our industries in addressing these barriers, like the lack of financial and technical capacity and our poor infrastructure," he added.
AI has become mainstream in recent years with the massive computing power of the cloud, the availability of enormous datasets that can be used to teach AI systems, breakthroughs in developing AI algorithms, and improvements in AI methods such as deep learning.
A study by McKinsey estimates that globally, AI techniques will have the potential to create between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in value annually.
In the Philippines, AI is seen to play a key role in helping the country respond to and recover from COVID-19, build resiliency, and increase competitiveness on the global stage in the years to come.
The AI Pilipinas Coalition was formed to address the need for its responsible adoption in the country.
Other coalition members include the Makati Business Club (MBC, Infocomm Technology Association of the Philippines (ITAP), Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), Women’s Business Council Philippines, and the US-ASEAN Business Council Inc.
Designed and co-authored by the entire Coalition, the AI Action Agenda will help frame its national effort through six key pillar actions:
• Establish a clear mandate from the highest level of government for Philippines’ AI vision;
• Define clear roles and responsibilities with government;
• Build trust in AI by encouraging implementation of responsible AI;
• Support data-driven innovation that is central to AI;
• Provide legal and regulatory clarity to encourage responsible use of AI; and
• Prepare the workforce for the AI economy.
Microsoft’s AI tools and technologies are used in workplaces, classrooms, home offices, research labs and manufacturing facilities around the world, empowering everyone from students to factory workers.
Powered by its Azure cloud, people and institutions around the world can do things like better understand their customers, share information more quickly and enable scientific breakthroughs.
“AI is a defining technology of our time. We are working to make it accessible to every individual and organization in the country, infusing AI into what we do, in order to amplify ingenuity with intelligent technology,” said Microsoft Philippines country general manager Andres Ortola.
“These tools and breakthroughs must be inclusive, available to everyone, and as AI systems become more mainstream, we believe that we all have a shared responsibility to create trusted AI systems—to work together to reach consensus about what principles and values should govern AI development and use," he added.
Carlo Subido, president of ITAP, underscored the need to responsible AI use.
“This coalition sets the path to promoting responsible AI. We, in the private sector – the businesses, the academe, our citizens, together with the government – need to frame our national effort to build a strong foundation for AI. We have a lot of talents here in the Philippines so there is no reason we cannot play globally in AI," he said.
Coco Alcuaz, Makati Business Club executive director, added: "The business sector and business orgs need to be responsive to technological and economic change. We have to embrace AI and its potential applications."