AI has 'great potential' for PH businesses, says IT firm

Lady Vicencio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2023 06:15 PM

MANILA -- The potential for artificial intelligence (AI) in the Philippines is endless and this is why businesses should start using it, according to an IT service management company.

IBM Philippines President Aileen Jiao said in the launching of "watsonx" that it is high time for businesses to consider using generative AI for data processing and curating content.

Jiao emphasized that the technology should not be a threat to employment as AI was meant to augment human intelligence instead of replacing it.

“It is going to allow you to do more with less. Humans will actually complement what AI can do and now, it will actually generate new roles for us,” Jiao said.

Industries in the BPO, Fintech, agriculture, education, human resources, and transportation can benefit from the technology, according to Digiteer CEO Fatima Yambao.

She shared how their company is able to solve pain points and improve processes of SMEs and startup companies with the utilization of generative AI.

“There are certain tasks that can be enhanced or can be passed on to AI. We’re not replacing humans, we actually upskill people,” Yambao said.

Felix Ayque, who heads a climate change software startup, is also an advocate of AI to process information useful for disaster management and risk communications.

“The problem with the Philippines in terms of natural disaster preparedness or climate resilience, the information doesn’t go to the very localized level. The inclusion, there’s a missing part of that,” Ayque said.

Despite the potential of generative AI, experts noted on three barriers from using it, namely skill, technology, and trust.

IBM Technology Technical Sales Leader Kieran Hagan believes that it is vital to increase customer confidence in the technology by making sure that the data belongs to its creator and that the processes can be explained and understood by the customer.

He added that the challenge now lies on acquiring trustworthy AI that could generate new roles and could eventually lead to upskilling of the workforce. 

“If you’re a government organization, if you’re in a highly regulated industry, we’re pleased to announce these technologies to help businesses take advantage of these generative AI tools and accelerate their adoption of responsible AI,” Hagan said.

“The environment has changed. AI is moving at such a rapid pace. It will be no single model or solution that makes it realistic for business to deliver, it needs to be done with an ecosystem, open source, with business partners,” Hagan added.