PH ready for AI generation, says Marcos

PH ready for AI generation, says Marcos
Photo from Presidential Communications Office

IN A bid to encourage technology companies to invest in the country, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. highlighted the Philippines’ readiness to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) toward a new technological revolution.

Marcos on Wednesday, November 15 (Philippine time), met with private companies, investors, and venture capitalists in the technology sector during the sidelines of his attendance to the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and related activities in San Francisco, California.

“The Philippines is ready to become your partner in navigating the AI future. As we look to the horizon, let’s ‘Make It Happen in the Philippines,’ where the promise of a future defined by technological inclusivity and shared growth is not just envisioned but actively realized,” he said.

He said they have crafted the National AI strategy, which is seen to augment the existing skills of the Filipinos, increase the productivity of enterprises, enhance the competitiveness of the economy and make the Philippines a Center of Excellence in AI.

“I’m certain our discussions here today will help the Philippines steer our roadmaps in a direction that maximizes the skills of Filipinos and helps them achieve their aspirations,” he added.

Among those present during the meeting were Crescent Point Group Vice Chairman Thomas Pompidou, Microsoft Managing Director Michelle Gonzalez, Mandiant (A Google company) CEO Kevin Mandia, Group of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) head Chris Emanuel, Plug and Play Ventures CEO Saeed Amidi, Altimeter CEO Brad Gerstner, HP (formerly Hewlett-Packard) CEO Enrique Lores, Visa CEO Ryan McInerney, Mastercard Co-President Ling Hai, and Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei.

Marcos said leading Silicon Valley companies came up with an agreement to collaborate on AI and cybersecurity.

“We don’t have enough engineers. That simple. So we need to get them trained, we need to get them… as part of the system…And so again, we have really put a great deal of emphasis on retraining. These are new technologies. The principle that we apply is really rather simple; it’s that basically Covid changed everything and after Covid, we have to transform the economy, and technology is going to bring the changes,” he said.

“And the part that AI plays in this is also something that we need to be — at least to have put a good deal of thought to. As I said, digitalizing our system, we have now to put in together, we need to have data centers, we need to have our own cloud, we need to put… so that we have again that capability,” he added.

The President also noted that generative AI will give microbusinesses, nano businesses and small businesses the tools and capabilities to provide Filipinos a rich, shopping, and commerce experience.

During Marcos’ first State of the Nation Address, he tagged digitalization as one of his administration’s priorities in order to improve the daily lives of the people especially in transacting with the government, as well as for better governance.

Marcos also touted during the meeting the Philippines’ highest growth rate since 1976 with a 7.6 percent increase in the country’s gross domestic product in 2022 which he said narrated a story of economic resilience and dynamism.

“To our current and future partners, I hope that this meeting will serve as an opportunity to create a shared vision for a future where the Philippine workforce is empowered, skilled, and ready to shape the digital age,” the President said.

“We stand on the cusp of the Artificial Intelligence revolution and that promises untold advancements but it also presents some rather unexpected challenges. It hinges on a workforce equipped with the necessary skills and an ecosystem that embraces technological inclusivity,” he added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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