Senate probe sought on artificial intelligence replacing workers


Posted at May 05 2017 02:55 PM

MANILA - Senator Bam Aquino said Friday he was seeking an inquiry into the threat posed by artificial intelligence on jobs.

“These systems use artificial intelligence and are capable of performing the tasks of human employees, putting their employment in peril,” Aquino said in a statement.

The inquiry will come as the business process outsourcing upgrades the skills of its workers to avoid being replaced by computers.

According to an International Labor Organization report in 2016, 49 percent of Filipino employees risk losing their jobs when companies shift to automated means to accomplish certain tasks.

"This early, we should be preparing for any eventuality that may occur when automation goes into full swing," Aquino said, especially as AI is one of the emerging technologies emphasized in the government's economic growth roadmap.

"Repetitive" jobs are especially vulnerable to automation, that's why local BPO workers are upgrading to tasks that require analytic thinking, said Jay Santisteban, operations director of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines.

Tasks handled by humans, which can be automated, are expected to be reduced by 28 percent in the next six years, the CCAP said last year.

The Department of Science and Technology is also set to develop an AI program to improve manufacturing.