PH first AI research center to open soon

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual announced on Monday that the Philippines is planning to launch its first artificial intelligence research center in September.

At the 7th Joint Economic Briefing of the joint chambers of commerce, Pascual announced that the Philippines Center for AI Research (CAIR) would be launched on September 9.

“This center promotes the adoption of AI, which can enable the country to achieve regional and global competitiveness in its industries, prepare future workforce for jobs of the future, and attract AI research and development efforts of multinationals and big tech companies,” Pascual said. 

The Center for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) is a private-public partnership that will act as a center for researchers and data scientists to carry out cooperative artificial intelligence research and development, consulting services, as well as develop AI tech products and run data literacy programs.

The DTI anticipates that CAIR will concentrate on AI research for smart manufacturing, precision agriculture, healthcare services, AI-powered business process outsourcing, and smart cities.

DTI wants to change the economy of the Philippines so that the science, technology, and innovation sectors contribute a larger portion of GDP.

“We plan to leapfrog into new and emerging industries that will modernize our manufacturing base; manufacturing is the country’s guarantee of sustainable and inclusive growth because it provides more stable and higher-paying jobs,” Pascual said. 

Pascual emphasized the Marcos administration’s ambitions to invest in the production of green metals with a high added value rather than exporting the nation’s supply of nickel, cobalt, and copper as ores by stating that this entails changing to high value-added industries.

The industrial, manufacturing, and transportation (IMT), technology, media, and telecommunication (TMT), and health and life science (HLF) clusters are the three industry clusters that DTI prioritizes. These clusters were reconfigured from the country’s export sectors.

Pascual also mentioned that the DTI is considering additional regional development, with Clark International Airport being considered as a potential location for aerospace development, Bulacan to Clark for the HLF cluster, Cebu for creative industries, Iloilo for health information management, and Davao, CDO, and Zamboanga for large-scale food production.

“There will be efforts to direct education of the youth towards the skills that we need for the future of the country. DTI is preparing the Philippine skills framework for various industries that will define the skills needed to support the [clusters],” Pascual said.

“We need to strengthen K12 to be readily employable. Digital skills can be taught in senior high school. And I am going to propose that we propose the micro-credentialing system of giving packaged instructions in short periods of time to prepare for definite skills,” he added.

While private initiatives like PLDT’s Jupiter cable system “would genuinely give extra internet and broadband capacity,” the DPWH’s infrastructure plans will also aid in improving logistics and mobility for the service and goods sectors.

“All these things are happening and hopefully that will provide the attraction to foreign investors,” Pascual said. 

A video message from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla was played at the briefing, which was held to provide the most recent information on the macroeconomic outlook for the Philippines. Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko of the Revenue Operations Group and Corporate Affaris Group also attended.

The German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI), the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (NordCham), the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP), the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (DCCP), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines (CCI France Philippines), and the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) organized the 7th joint economic briefing of the chamber (La Camara).

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