The Philippines needs to re-train and upgrade workers’ skills to future-proof them for new jobs ahead.
Craig Baty, VP international for global marketing group and digital business platform unit (MetaArc) of Fujitsu Australia, gave this unsolicited advice when he met with Manila-based journalists on Wednesday, Oct. 11, in Makati City.
“The Philippines relies much on call centers, and call centers rely on humans. Those people (call call center workers) need to realize they must re-train,” Baty said, referring to an industry that employs 1.2 million people and earned $25 billion last year.
Workers in BPO companies are equipped with “knowledge on what the customers want, but that knowledge can be captured and you might find that AI is doing some of that work,” he added.
Re-training should be done every three to five years because what workers were doing five years ago might not be the same in another five years, he said.
Training should cover the whole ecosystem, including connected services, data analytics, AI programming, API programming, algorithms, actual devices controlled by IoT, robotics, the skills required for the future.
“But what companies are saying is that over and above the technical skills that you can train on, are the people skills, the creativity skills, the ability to imagine and the ability to collaborate and communicate. These are the things that computers can’t do, AI just can’t do,” he said.
The Fujitsu Australia executive has been flying around the world, speaking before company executives and journalists to expound on the company’s technology and services vision as contained in its offering of Digital Co-Creation.
In an interview with Newsbytes.PH, Baty explained “Digital Co-Creation.” It is all about collecting the knowledge of your processes and business, the knowledge of your customer, and the knowledge of technology and business and customers, and combining this knowledge to actually create offerings and services that could meet the needs of your customers in the future.
One of the ways to do this, he added, is that “it may start with a particular challenge or a problem, or new product or service.”
Fujitsu, Baty added, is ready to work with companies, it has design-thinking and co-creation workshops as well as well-trained consultants who can discuss the concept.
Experts can hold workshops with staff, identify their problems, and go on to build something digitally.
“So, (Digital Co-Creation) is actually a people-based process,” he emphasized at the Fujitsu World Tour Asia Conference 2017 with the theme “Human Centric Innovation: Digital Transformation Co-Creation” at Makati Shangri-La in Makati City.
However, Baty acknowledged that AI can be both an ally or enemy, but Fujitsu views AI as “augmenting your intelligence.”
Using massive data collected from IoT and RFIDs, “AI can sense patterns, challenges, and threats and alert a human and work with humans to solve the problem. So, actually, (AI) makes humans faster.”