Gov’t starts crafting of PH roadmap for artificial intelligence

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has set the wheels in motion for the crafting of the country’s artificial intelligence (AI) sector roadmap to position the Philippines as an AI powerhouse in the Asean region.

Photo shows during the AI Roadmap Study contract signing are (from left) director Maria Lourdes Yaptinchay of the Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research, DTI undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, Dr. Christopher P. Monterola, and Dr. Erika Fille T. Legara

DTI undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba led the formal signing on Thursday, November 7, of an agreement for the AI roadmap with data scientists Dr. Christopher Monterola and Dr. Erika Fille Legara of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

“The formulation of the AI Roadmap is very important and timely. This effort provides the impetus that will move the country forward to keep up with the rapidly changing times,” Aldaba said.

Aldaba noted that the Philippines ranked third in the Southeast Asian region in the Government Artificial Intelligence Readiness Index 2019.

For their part, Monterola and Legara from AIM’s Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ASITE), presented the framework for the formulation of the roadmap, which shall be primarily data-driven and consultative in nature.

An AI Task Force consisting of academicians, government officials, and industry stakeholders will be created to support the initiative. The roadmap will conduct an analysis of AI’s impact on the country’s industries and workforce and recommend policies and programs that are necessary for success such as AI trainings and AI labs.

With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) where technology becomes more enmeshed with everyday life, AI advancement is seen as one of the key factors to help keep the country competitive. AI is emerging to be a potential bright spot for our country, with wide opportunities for growth for the country’s local workforce.

The DTI said it will take a close look at the interests of the sectors concerned to capitalize on the opportunities as well as address the challenges faced by the country in the ongoing AI transformation, in the wake of 4IR that is projected to affect the country’s economic trajectory.

“With all of us in government, academe, industry working together, our aspiration to become an AI Center of Excellence would be achieved,” Aldaba said.

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