Microsoft, the Department of Trade and Industry, and a number of other stakeholders have launched the AI Pilipinas Coalition to democratise and promote responsible use of artificial intelligence.
The Coalition will bring together key organisations, leaders in Government and the private sector to empower people through the use of AI.
AI is expected to play a critical role in helping the Philippines respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by building resiliency and increasing the country’s competitiveness on the global stage.
But to make sure this is done responsibly, the AI Pilipinas Coalition was set up.
“A number of startups in the country are offering AI solutions to consumers and businesses. And they are accelerating the integration of AI technologies and tools in day-to-day transactions, making them more accessible to the public,” said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.
During the launch of AI Pilipinas Coalition, Secretary Lopez emphasised the critical role technology will play in the nation’s economic recovery, adding that AI in particular is poised to make a significant contribution to enabling Filipino individuals and enterprises for the future.
The Department of Trade and Industry will support industries to address these barriers, including the lack of financial and technical capacity and poor infrastructure.
“Even as there is an increase in use of AI and other Industry 4.0 technologies, our industries have yet to harness the benefits of such technologies and overcome key challenges to their adoption,” said Secretary Lopez.
The AI Pilipinas Coalition designed an AI Action Agenda to spark positive transformation and digital acceleration in the Philippines.
The Agenda is built on six key pillar actions, including establishing a clear mandate from the highest level of Government for Philippines’ AI vision, defining clear roles and responsibilities with Government, building trust in AI by encouraging implementation of responsible AI, supporting data-driven innovation that is central to AI, providing legal and regulatory clarity to encourage responsible use of AI, and preparing the workforce for an AI economy.
“AI is a defining technology of our time. We are working to make it accessible to every individual and organisation in the country, infusing AI into what we do, in order to amplify ingenuity with intelligent technology,” said Microsoft Philippines Country General Manager, Andres Ortola.
The other stakeholders in the AI Pilipinas Coalition include the Makati Business Club, Infocomm Technology Association of the Philippines (ITAP), Institute of Corporate Directors, Women’s Business Council Philippines, and the US-ASEAN Business Council.
“Today is a good start but there is still a lot of work to be done. We, in the private sector – the businesses, the academe, our citizens, together with the Government – need to frame our national effort to build a strong foundation for AI,” said Carlo Subido, the President of ITAP.
“We support data driven innovation that is central to AI. We have a lot of talents here in the Philippines so there is no reason we cannot play globally in AI,” he added.
Trust is the foundation of Microsoft’s work in AI, with a focus on human-centered design, fairness, inclusiveness and transparency as well as the shared responsibility it creates with customers and partners by providing practical guidance, best practices and tools to enable the responsible creation of AI.
“The business sector and business orgs need to be responsive to technological and economic change. We have to embrace AI and its potential applications. This Coalition, which welcomes other businesses and organisations, represents the business sector’s commitment to promote national and economic development through responsible AI,” said Coco Alcuaz, the Executive Director of the Makati Business Club.
Recent years have seen AI move increasingly into mainstream products thanks to the massive computing power of the cloud, the availability of enormous datasets that can be used to teach AI systems, breakthroughs in developing AI algorithms and improvements in AI methods such as deep learning.
With far-reaching impacts permeating all areas of society and economy, a study by McKinsey estimates that AI techniques will have the global potential to create between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in value annually.
Image credit: Microsoft