DTI eyes PH as AI powerhouse in region

By Kris Crismundo

May 5, 2021, 6:22 pm

<p>DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez</p>

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez

MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched Wednesday the national artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap which made the Philippines be one of the first 50 countries in the world to have a national strategy and policy on AI.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said AI adoption can increase Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) by 12 percent by 2030, or equivalent to USD92 billion based on estimates of research firm Kearney.
Lopez said the AI roadmap aims to accelerate the adoption and utilization of AI in the country to advance industrial development, generate better quality entrepreneurship, and higher-paying opportunities for Filipinos.
“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,” he said.
As the country aims to be an AI powerhouse in the region, the roadmap will establish the private sector-led National Center for AI Research (NCAIR) which will serve as a shared hub for AI research.
Lopez added the AI roadmap would help the country to be a hub for data processing providing high-value data analytics and AI services to the world given the country’s strong business process management sector.
Among the applications of AI are in real estate, banking and financial services, surveillance, retail and e-commerce, education, space exploration, agribusiness, urban planning, manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics and transportation.
AI would also help government services become more efficient.
With the launching of the AI roadmap, the DTI targets to provide guidance on 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.
Lopez added AI is a vital innovation amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (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 us to create a knowledge-based economy, which we can leverage to create a more inclusive and prosperous society,” he said. (PNA)