AI vs AI: PH gov’t uses job security threat to train BPO workers

By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu – Reporter | INQUIRERnet / 03:07 PM May 24, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) battling artificial intelligence may sound like a science-fiction movie, but for the Philippine government, it is a way to save thousands of Filipinos from being jobless.

It is known that several information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) companies are looking to cut expenses by replacing its workforce with AI.  However, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) decided to use AI–the same technology–to keep Filipino BPO workers in their offices.

With the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and tech company AI Pros, DTI will train workers on the use of  Augmented Intelligence (AI2).

“Instead of AI replacing jobs in the IT-BPO industry, which is estimated to affect half of the 1.3 million jobs in the sector, the workers will be trained to make use of AI2-enabled systems,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement on Thursday.

“Basically, it’s making the AI system become the solution to the problem,” Lopez said.

In technology parlance, augmented intelligence refers to the use of information technology to enhance human intelligence.

“We are the first country to launch this kind of initiative. Instead of looking at AI as a threat to the BPO industry, the Duterte administration is using AI2 to provide more opportunities for inclusive growth,” Lopez said.