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Sen. Bam to look into AI threat to jobs for Filipinos

Sen. Bam Aquino is set to conduct a hearing into the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) to jobs in the country.

"Every job created for Filipinos is important. We have to guard against trends that will take jobs away from our countrymen," said Sen. Bam, who will conduct the probe on Tuesday (August 1) as chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

"Gusto nating malaman kung ano ang epekto ng artificial intelligence sa employment, lalo na sa ating business process outsourcing (BPO) o call center sector," added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam filed Senate Resolution No. 344, to conduct an inquiry on the government's plan and initiatives to maximize the benefits of developments in artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

The senator expressed alarm over the growing presence of Chatbots and the emergence of systems capable of referring questions to human operators and learning from their responses.

"These systems use artificial intelligence and are capable of performing the tasks of human employees, putting their livelihood at risk, especially in the call center industry," said Sen. Bam.

In 2016, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that 49 percent of all employment in the Philippines faces a high risk of automation in the next couple of decades.

Based on research conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC), around $47 billion will be spent on AI-related applications globally by 2020, especially in banking, healthcare and retail sectors.

According to Jubert Daniel Alberto of IDC Philippines, the rise of AI will definitely affect the BPO industry that currently employs around 1.2 million Filipinos.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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