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AI governance: The way forward in the Philippines

April 12, 2024

MANILA – The Philippines is renowned globally as one of the world’s leading outsourcing providers supporting the businesses of local and international companies. The current 1.57 million strong workforce supporting the outsourcing industry contributes roughly $29.1 billion in revenue to the local economy.

Given that the contribution makes up 7.5 percent of the national GDP, the arrival of generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) was greeted with mixed feelings. Last year, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines had taken a crucial step to organize an AI council to prepare local workforce to embrace Gen AI. The council intends to enhance workforce’s skills in programming, data science, data analytics, and AI ethics, in collaboration with academic institutions and industry associations.

I was in Manila several weeks ago and had the opportunity to meet clients and industry leaders. Gen AI was a hot discussion topic. Many I met were well aware of the profound economic and social opportunities to the tune of $79.3 billion in potential capacity that Gen AI can unlock in the Philippines.

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found that investment in Gen AI is expected to grow four times over the next two to three years and this potential can only be realized if Gen AI is accepted as a force for good. The good news is the study also noted that executives are expected to invest at least 40 percent more in AI ethics over the next three years.

Globally, the best practice is to align AI governance programs with an organization’s ethics and values. Yet within many organizations, the question remains, where does AI governance begin to take shape in an enterprise? When will the promise of