THERE are about 1.2 million jobs generated by the business process management (BPM) industry in the Philippines and about 800,000 of these are predicted to be affected by the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) in 2024.
Christopher Monterola, professor of Asian Institute of Management and A-Site-Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, urged companies to start upgrading the skills of their workers as AI will affect the future of jobs.
“They are earning a good amount of money and are very important to our gross domestic product. Conservative projection is in the next three years to five years, about 80 percent of them without up-skilling will potentially be compromised,” Monterola said
He said these jobs are in danger because of AI, particularly chatbots that can easily engage customers without human supervision as it already has pre-programmed responses to basic inquiries.
Monterola was one of the speakers during the Entrepreneurs’ Summit held on June 13, 2019, organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
AI is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.
Based on their survey, Monterola said about 49 percent of the labor force in the country should be re-skilled as the economic landscape is rapidly being changed by Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution brings automation and data in important industries like manufacturing that can already replace jobs usually done by humans.
Monterola noted that the jobs of 78 percent of the Philippines’ total workforce have a 50 percent possibility of being automated.
Jobs of the future, he said, include programming, technology design, system analysis and evaluation.
Jobs identified to have the highest probability of being automated will be telemarketers, title examiners, abstractors and searchers and hand sewers while jobs with the lowest chance are recreational therapists, first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers and emergency management directors.
Aside from the BPM sector, automation is also affecting agriculture as technology and innovation is now slowly seeping in.
Monterola said emerging innovations in agriculture where robots perform tasks like planting and maintaining irrigation, for example, take the jobs away from the farmers.
But besides the change of tasks and technology intervention, Monterola said Industry 4.0 also brings new opportunities.
“Industry 4.0 will also produce new opportunities and we want to be ready for this,” he said.
Monterola said they are lobbying for the government to include AI in the K+12 education curriculum.