Leni wary of AI and its impact on workers » Manila Bulletin News



By Raymund F. Antonio

Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo has raised concerns over the rise in artificial intelligence and machines, saying it may adversely affect the employment of Filipinos here and abroad.

Leni Robredo

“Artificial intelligence and machines are causing a tremendous transformation in the nature of work,” she said.

Robredo, who once served as housing chief, called the attention of the government on the emerging technology.

“Our professionals are not just competing with those from other countries, they are now starting to compete with machines that can do what we do faster and better,” Robredo said.

Citing a recent study of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Robredo said that “49 percent of jobs in the country are at risk of automation.”

She said the ILO study placed the number of job losses at one million in business process outsourcing industry and call centers.

Artificial intelligence is defined as the capability of machines to imitate human cognitive functions in doing simple to complex tasks.

The use of AI technology is wide-ranging, from medical diagnosis, stock trading, toy making robot control, remote sensing, and scientific discovery, among others.

The Vice President stressed how the government should soon focus on monitoring the advancement of artificial intelligence.

“These are the battles facing all of us today, making it necessary to redefine how we see our professions, our skills, and our future. We need a new strategy; we need a new roadmap,” she said.

Robredo underscored the need to improve the skills of Filipino professionals and inspire them to strive for excellence in their jobs.

She said doing so would make Filipinos “known for higher-order thinking skills that this new AI-assisted world will require.”

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