BPOs gearing up for impact of artificial intelligence on industry


Posted at May 12 2017 02:23 PM | Updated as of May 12 2017 03:56 PM

MANILA - The Philippine business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is gearing up for the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the industry. 

Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) chairman Lito Tayag acknowledged that AI presents to new challenges to the industry as automation may wipe out lower-end jobs. 

Tayag said that they are now working to provide workers who may be affected with new skill sets.

"We are working closely with industry academe and government in terms of preparing our skill or pool of talent for the next set of skill," Tayag said in an interview with ANC's Market Edge with Cathy Yang. 

He added that the industry is also looking to move up the value chain, which is less likely to be affected by automation.

"We should be familiar and develop more skills with cloud, analytics and mobile applications. We should be more conversant with new terms like agile and liquid workforce," he continued. 

Besides developments in AI and automation, Tayag said the industry is also closely watching the regulatory impact of U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist policies.

But so far, Tayag said, there is no indication that protectionism has cost the industry jobs. 

"Well we have seen or heard feedback related to this but at the end of the day we have not seen actual statistics that will say we have slowed down," Tayag said. 

He is also confident they will achieve their employment target by 2022. 

"We have articulated this in our roadmap 2022. We want to bring this industry to 1.8 million people in 6 years, making us one of the biggest job suppliers in the country together with other multiplier effect in real estate, transportation, and food," Tayag said. 

The industry expects to hit $40 billion in annual revenues by 2022.