Expert: PH to feel AI effect in 5 years

THE taking over of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and similar technologies may take effect within five years in the Philippines as online jobs with human intervention are still continuously expanding, said an information technology expert in support of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Davao’s statement last Thursday.

According to Womenpowered Institute Founder Mary Rose Rontal, as the United States and other countries in Europe are widely using AI and other similar modern advancements, the Philippines may expect beginning of such changes still within five years.

“It will take time. In the Philippines, we can’t yet feel that although the big companies and industries in the United States and other parts of Europe are already using it for their services. In the Philippines, probably it will still take about five years because now, even the Virtual Assistants (VA) services are still expanding. There are still tutorial classes and TESL,” she said.

Instead of fearing or getting threatened that it would replace jobs in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, Rontal said Filipinos should be prepared to provide services that can support and complement AI.

“We are really not going to be replaced by AI, in a way, as long as our services are complementary to the AI,” she added.

As for their part, their private organization is already starting to conduct data analytics training here in Davao City to introduce and expose the younger generation to the technology.

Data Analytics is the skill that needed to be learned especially of predictive analysis in order to better understand how AI works and develops.

“I think the government should focus [training] for high-level technical jobs and skills, and not just secretarial jobs. Now, we need more specialists. Those who are in demand now are developers, programmers, and designers. We really need to promote those industries. In terms of skills development, those are the areas we need to strengthen,” said Rontal.

Aside from AI, she also said that eventually the augmented reality and the virtual reality will be the skills needed and are trending. She said these industries are foreseen to be the strongest industries in the coming years.

In the Philippines, a number of companies have already started using Virtual Reality in some of their services. However, for Augmented Reality, Rontal said it might take about three years before Filipino companies start making use of it.

In an article published last Thursday, March 8, ICT Davao President Attorney Samuel Matunog said the emergence of AI should not be considered a threat but a good challenge for the BPO workers.

“The issue is overhyped. We should not be scared about it. It is just part of the development of the technology but there will always be space for human interaction since it’s always preferred over machine,” Matunog assured.

He added that the academe and different concerned government agencies are working together to prepare for the forthcoming development.
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