“AI Center of Excellence” | Philstar.com
The National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Roadmap should guide the Philippines to become a “center of excellence in AI,” ensuring that our people benefit from the growing global AI industry.
In the current era of the global knowledge economy, many countries are now embracing AI to increase their efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. A McKinsey report found that AI could “automate about 50% of work activities performed in the four largest ASEAN economies,” which include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. This could open up opportunities in the region.
This is supported by an October 2020 report from research companies EDBI and Kearney, indicating that AI is expected to increase Southeast Asia’s GDP to $ 1 trillion by 2030. Likewise, Kearney’s analysis estimates a 12% increase in Philippine GDP by 2030, equivalent to $ 92 billion.
AI is expected to revolutionize many aspects of our daily lives over the next decade. On the one hand, the auto industry will most likely be able to practically perfect autonomous vehicle technology. Meanwhile, AI-based precision agriculture can dramatically reduce losses from pests and natural disasters, while dramatically increasing the production of high-value products per hectare of land. As such, the Philippine government is ready to claim the country’s share in this technological opportunity, which would have a huge impact on achieving our goals in the updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.
The AI Roadmap embodies our national preparedness strategy to maximize the benefits of using AI technologies and developing AI economies. We expect from our roadmap not only an improvement in the competitiveness of our businesses, but also the creation of more affordable, more accessible and more tailor-made public services – including disaster preparedness and management, education and services. health care.
Most importantly, this strategy will mobilize resources to increase the adoption and use of AI in the country to advance our industrial development and generate better entrepreneurship and better employment opportunities. paid for our population. These lead to the fulfillment of President Duterte’s dream of giving Filipinos a comfortable and superior quality of life.
All of this underlines the commitment of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (DTI) to innovation, whether through our Industrial Inclusive Innovation Strategy (i3S) or by providing strong support to the legislation that pushes it. In fact, the AI Roadmap is a key manifestation of the flagship Philippine Innovation Law, or Republic Law No. 11293. This aforementioned law promotes the innovation and internationalization activities of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as engines of sustainable and inclusive growth. With this in mind, AI can be seen as accelerating innovation and removing disruption in businesses and businesses – as well as in the general well-being of Filipino communities.
DTI believes that AI can provide socially relevant solutions to the problems facing our society today. Through the AI roadmap, we hope to make the Philippines a “center of excellence for AI” in the region, supported by our rich pool of local talent and a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship. Our country can also serve as a big data center providing high-value data analytics and artificial intelligence services to the world, and this may become our next winner of higher-value, higher-paying services, after the BPO industry.
While there is this fear that AI will automate so many jobs that millions of Filipinos could find themselves unemployed, this fear should instead be seen as opportunities for new possibilities. The structure of the workforce will change. Newer, better and better paying jobs will emerge. AI will also allow us to create a knowledge-based economy, which we can harness to create a more inclusive and prosperous society.
In the rush of creativity and imagination, the shift to AI-based systems is likely to lead to job creation by the economy that will ease this transition. AI will create more wealth than it destroys, with more Filipinos engaging in finding solutions, creating new startups, and experimenting with many business applications and consumer uses. AI will lead to creative destruction, which will lead to more companies innovating, creating new forms of better paying jobs, and creating more sources in the process.
This brings us to the important task in our country’s journey to an AI-driven future. In other words, we need to build the educational infrastructure that is conducive to re-skilling and upgrading the skills of the workforce in a lifelong learning environment. We also need to improve education and training systems to provide the necessary skills required in a digital economy. The AI roadmap has four important dimensions.
The first is digitalization and infrastructure which are essential to achieve the strategic objectives set out in this roadmap. The second is research and development (or R&D), which includes the “Investing in strategic sectors” and “International collaboration” subset. The third is workforce development, which will anticipate and prepare our human capital for the potential impact of AI technologies. Finally, the fourth is regulation, which will create fair opportunities for activating AI.
As part of the R&D dimension of the AI roadmap, we will create the National AI Research Center (or N-CAIR), led by the private sector, which is central to our aspiration to become a “AI center of excellence” in the region. N-CAIR will serve as the country’s shared hub for AI research, which will help make the Philippines an AI powerhouse. Serving as the home for full-time researchers and research engineers, N-CAIR will be responsible for advancing scientific discoveries in AI and will play a central role in the development and development of AI talent and leaders in the field of AI. data science.
In addition, the advisory services offered by the Center will benefit government agencies, industries and other research centers across the country. In particular, N-CAIR will encourage companies to adopt AI by strengthening their capacity to produce new products, processes and services using AI. Potential applications of AI that can benefit businesses include preventing deterioration of agricultural products, predicting equipment maintenance, optimizing processes in factories, and improving business decision-making through advanced analyzes. This will lead to more operational efficiency and innovation.
N-CAIR can also help our MSMEs interested in using data science, analytics and AI tools to help them improve their efficiency and productivity. In addition, the Center will support businesses using their data to develop solutions through AI and data-driven science. In other words – Research-based innovations. And rather than creating their own AI R&D centers or spending on expensive equipment, companies can leverage the Centre’s resources and knowledge as a form of shared service.
Another goal of N-CAIR is to develop Filipino capacity and expertise in AI. The Center will engage in R&D projects that will meet various socio-economic needs of society. In other words – Market driven research. Thus, we will have: research-based innovations + market-oriented research!
In developing the AI roadmap, we would like to thank data scientists, Dr Christopher Monterola and Dr Erika Legara, from the Aboitiz School for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (ASITE) for Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Dr Monterola and Dr Legara provided us with research and analysis to prepare the roadmap. They also helped us put in place a comprehensive plan including pillars, dimensions, strategic imperatives and tasks that lay the foundation for an AI-led Philippines.
In conclusion, as we launch the country’s AI roadmap, we signal to the world our eagerness and willingness to seize the opportunities of the digital age and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Through AI technologies, we will create a modern, vibrant and responsible Philippines where our people can benefit from more and better opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment. Embracing the future of the AI-driven Philippines will further nurture an inclusive, creative, collaborative and entrepreneurial generation of Filipinos today and tomorrow.
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Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez was the keynote speaker during the recent AI roadmap launch.