THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is working with data scientists to draft the government’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) road map.

In a statement Monday, the DTI said Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba of the Competitiveness and Innovation Group signed on Nov. 7 an agreement with data scientists Christopher P. Monterola and Erika Fille T. Legara.

“The formulation of the AI Road map is very important and timely. This effort provides the impetus that will move the country forward to keep up with the rapidly changing times,” Ms. Aldaba said.

Dr. Monterola and Dr. Legara, both from the Asian Institute of Management-Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, presented the framework for a data-driven and consultative road map.

The DTI in July announced that the government is creating a task force to formulate the AI road map. The task force will include academics, government officials, and industry representatives.

The road map will include an analysis of AI’s impact on Philippine industries and workforce, as well as policy and program recommendations such as AI training programs and AI laboratories.

“The DTI affirms its commitment to look at the interests of the sectors concerned to capitalize on the opportunities as well as address the challenges faced by the country in the ongoing AI transformation, in the wake of 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) that is projected to affect the country’s economic trajectory,” the statement said.

According to DTI, AI will keep the country competitive “with wide opportunities for growth for our competent workforce.”

The Philippines was third among Southeast Asian governments for readiness for AI in 2019, as reckoned by Oxford Insights and the International Development Research Centre.

Globally, Singapore and Malaysia were first and 22nd, respectively, while the Philippines was 50th out of 194 countries.

Ms. Aldaba said that the road map will help the country on its way to becoming an “AI powerhouse” in the region.

“With all of us (government, academics, industry) working together, our aspiration to become an AI Center of Excellence would be achieved,” she said. — Jenina P. Ibañez