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Philippines Establishes AI Council to Upskill BPO Workers

The Philippines has established an AI Council to upskill its BPO workers. 

The project aims to prepare the Filipino workforce for the transition into higher value roles which lie beyond the scope of automation.

The council, composed of experts, industry leaders and academics, does not intend to discourage the adoption of AI within the BPO sector. It actually recognizes the potential for AI to significantly enhance customer service productivity.

Jack Madrid, president of IBPAP –the main BPO lobby group in the Philippines–, citing a study by the MIT Sloan School of Management, emphasized that generative AI can boost customer service productivity by up to 50%.

“The idea is to train employees in higher-value tasks such as programming and data analytics,” Madrid explained. “Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize customer experience and usher in a new era of productivity and efficiency.”

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Upskilling appears to be the most viable strategy for safeguarding the Philippines’ global services industry, especially in light of expected threats of AI to the job security of many. A recent Oxford Economics study predicts that automation could make more than a million jobs obsolete in the country by 2028.

The urgency of upskilling is further underscored by the emergence of local AI startups that are already automating tasks traditionally performed by human workers. Navix Health, a generative AI startup, has developed an app that automatically generates medical documents, eliminating the need for transcribers. 

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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