PH may gain 300K new jobs with augmented intelligence: Lopez

By Kris Crismundo

May 24, 2018, 8:10 am

MANILA -- Despite projections that artificial intelligence (AI) will take over half of the jobs in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, the Philippines’ top trade official expressed confidence that enabling the local workforce to utilize augmented intelligence will add employment.

In a press briefing Wednesday, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said augmented intelligence skills will demand for 800,000 talents within the next few years, higher than the projected 500,000 jobs that are seen to be lost due to robotics and AI.

Towards that end, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has partnered with local augmented intelligence-solution company AI Pros -- founded by technology innovators Diosdado Banatao and George Yang -- and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to train Filipino talents on operating AI system.

“The program that we are launching is to create an AI-enabled workforce, AI-empowered workforce, that will basically lead to retraining and even training new possible entrants in the BPO sector to elevate their capacity their capabilities and allowing them use AI and allowing them to take on more demanding tasks in the BPO industry,” said Lopez.

Augmented intelligence uses AI but still requires human intervention to operate the system.

“Instead of AI replacing people, it’s now AI enabling our workers to perform better. The projections is even the expected 500,000 or more to be affected, with this kind of program and training, we can even generate about close to 800,000 new players, new entrants, more trained workforce. So we might have a net effect of even positive 300,000 at the onset as we go through this kind of program,” he noted.

Lopez noted that aside from retraining the talents who are already working in the BPO industry, the government also eyes to bring this training to the countryside and equip them with skills in operating AI system. (PNA)