PH workers need to prepare for AI disruption

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Philippine industries will have to welcome artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their services and compete but this could lead to workforce disruptions, the head of an international property consultancy firm said on Thursday.

AI adoption could surge in the Philippines within the next five to 10 years as it recently did in Singapore and Hong Kong, Pronove Tai CEO Monique Pronove said, in the process shaking up the retail, finance, healthcare, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, automotive, customer service, and appraisal services.

Chatbots, online purchases and transport network services such as Uber and Grab manifest a slowly creeping disruption, she added, but the Philippines remains years behind Asian neighbors where robots already service hotel guests.

“In the Philippines, we’re still looking at bricks and mortars and upgrading that,” Pronove said. “But … we need to be aware… [of what]is happening in other countries already.”


“But as I’ve mentioned, they’re far [more]advanced than we are and they don’t have the population that we do have.”

To cushion the impact, Pronove suggested that workers under threat upgrade their skills or focus on jobs that require a “human touch”.

“We have to be cognizant of the fact that [AI disruption] will cause unemployment. Will we be replaced by robots? We just really need to up-skill ourselves. We have to look at jobs where we can add more value than what a robot does,” she said.

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