DTI Visits Wave Computing

Michelle Angat – Jul 24 | 5 min read | Features

Artificial intelligence is taking over our everyday lives. This isn’t to call for an alarm for the robot apocalypse like the Terminator running rampant in our streets. AI could be as simple as the facial recognition – security setting on your phone, Google or Waze giving directions and best routes to reach your destination, Apple’s Siri taking your instruction to play your favorite song. All of these everyday menial details are powered by AI. Truly, there is fear associated with the rise of artificial intelligence slowly taking over, especially taking over jobs. AI Industry is already claiming global attention and last year, according to Forbes magazine, AI has contributed over $2 trillion dollars to the global GDP, and is expected to be worth $15 trillion by the year 2030. Should Filipinos fear losing job opportunities to a robot? The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says there’s no need to fear. In fact, they believe that the Philippines can be a global powerhouse in the Artificial Intelligence industry. And Wave Computing is here to help prove it.

Last April 16, 2019, Wave Computing hosted a roundtable discussion on what benefits the AI industry could bring to the Philippines should our country jump on the opportunity. The event was headed by Wave’s Vice President and General Manager of AI Center of Excellence, Rufino Olay, and attended by DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez, Ignition’s CEO Atty. Juan Paolo Villonco and Director of Finance, Maria Margarita Flores, and members from different government offices. It was suggested: if the Philippines can take the lead from India in the BPO industry, why can’t we do the same in the AI industry? With the rest of the world already taking notice of this tremendous opportunity, it is crucial that the Philippines asserts its leadership role in the narrative. Rufino presented the benefits of AI outside the mainstream and commercial ideology. He showcased AI applications across various industries, ranging from agriculture, retail, management, healthcare, finance, transportation, urban planning, and security. With all these possibilities AI could create for the Philippines, the potential for employment is limitless.

In 2018 CHED estimated more than 80K students who graduated from disciplines of Engineering and more than 70K from Information Technology (IT). It would be a loss if a big percentage of these students sought for opportunities elsewhere only to work similar jobs a Philippine AI company could offer. Wave Computing wants to set an example of what a Filipino AI company could look like. The Philippine branch for Dado Banatao’s Silicon Valley startup prided itself as a team of various specialties, hailing from different parts of the country. With professionals consisting of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, physicists, coders, and more, the Wave team has already achieved plenty in developing AI applications in facial, and item recognition. Should up and coming AI companies follow what Wave Computing has started, the issue of employment would be solved.

If one of the bigger fears towards AI is towards employment, let it now be debunked by the efforts of Wave Computing and the DTI. If we look at the doors the BPO industry opened for Philippine employment, and how fast it took for us to overtake India in its global industry, imagine what we could do with AI? Imagine the growth and advancement it could bring to different sectors of our country. The Philippines is more than capable of taking the lead in the global AI industry. As proven, we have the talent and the tools. All it takes now is for the Philippines to join the rest of the world and fully take part in this trillion-dollar opportunity. If we follow Wave Computing’s example, there’s no doubt that we can slowly take the lead as the global hub for AI.