The Philippines is among the many countries in the world with an abundant supply of manpower and natural resources. Additionally, Filipinos are known for being creative and have a sense of dedication towards studies and work. But it is also a common knowledge that somehow the country is lagging behind in terms of development due to lack of machineries and equipments to fully implement projects related to technology. This situation affects the overall state of development in the country in one way or another.
A GLIMPSE ON THE PHILIPPINE SETTING
Geographically, the Philippines is an archipelago composed of 7,641 islands. Meaning, the country is a group of small islands that can contribute to the delay in any technological advancement. It is also a known fact that typhoons would always visit the country which can cause massive destruction over the people's properties and source of income.
Despite this situation in the country, Filipinos remain strong and steadfast in their dreams of attaining a better life. In fact, education is among the priorities of the people which is being supported by the government by making education free for all. This is the reason why there are many Filipinos who excel even in international settings. Manpower is one of the strengths that we have. This is one of the reasons why international companies opted to invest in the country which opened thousands of BPO jobs to the people.
The latest PSA data shows that the BPO industry employs 575,600 workers, with a majority (87.6%) in call centers. Nearly 12% work in computer or IT-related firms, 0.5% in medical transcription, and 0.3% in animated films and cartoon production.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES
We cannot deny the fact that despite the technological advancement in the world, the country is still behind compared to other giant nations who excel in the field of technology. This could be attributed to a variety of reasons. One is that we are still in the process of acquiring knowledge and second, the uneven distribution of opportunities for growth. the development is somehow concentrated in urban areas like Manila and Cebu. The tendency is for people from the provinces to flock to the city in search of opportunities. This has created other major issues such as traffic congestion and pollution.
This situation has already been included in the priorities of the government. Concerned agencies are currently developing some programs to extend the development in rural areas. This way, infrastructures, internet connections, mobilities and other things necessary for technological advancement are being upgraded.
Artificial Intelligence is at its starting phase in the country. Though studies have been started several years ago, still, the country can be considered in its infancy stage. The good thing is, the Philippines is continuously improving in terms of technological development. The Government Artificial Intelligence Readiness Index 2019, a survey conducted by Oxford Insights, it shows that the Philippines has been finally found a place in rank 50. It was a big jump from the 2017 AI readiness survey where the country was not even mentioned.
IS AI A THREAT OR A POTENTIAL?
Knowing the complexity of the term itself and the fact that many people still could not fathom the real meaning of artificial intelligence, many are considering it as a threat to their current jobs. The majority of the people in the country might not be aware that they are already exposed to artificial intelligence because online information is open for everyone. A large number of the population has a social media account particularly, Facebook. But when the term started to circulate, people became wary because they are thinking that AI will take their jobs.
In an interview conducted by a local television with a representative from an international company from Silicon Valley, it shows the company would build a product that would accelerate the ability to create and use deep learning. According to him, they would hire Filipino data scientists and software engineers, seeking to make the country a global hub for artificial intelligence.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Image Credits: Querlo C-Blog Screenshot
Are we ready to face the full effect of artificial intelligence in our society? In this c-blog, I have shared ideas and suggestions that may help us and our society to be prepared once artificial intelligence has its full effect in our country and the whole world. I hope you learn something from it.
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On the final thought:
Artificial Intelligence can be a threat or an opportunity depending on how we look at it. A positive mindset, regulations in place, fully-developed AI infrastructures, and a set of well-trained and knowledgeable individuals are what we need in order to achieve the full potential the artificial intelligence could offer.
Join Bitlanders AI-Themed blogging! Learn more about this from Micky-the-Slanted-Salerno's post:
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