The IT-BPM sector prepares for the evolution of work.
In today’s Digital Age, advancements in technology have already taken over basic office tasks. With this, humans face the challenge to upskill and reskill to keep up with the changes in job demand.
To start overcoming this challenge, the Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) spearheaded the IBPAP Talks Human Tech Series. It aims to raise awareness about the skills that IT-BPM members need to enhance or develop to take on the jobs of the future.
Last November 14, the first installment of the series took place at the F1 Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, which revolved around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics.
There’s no better way to start the talk series than with one of the key reasons why it transpired. Heading the discussion for AI was Daniel Latreille, chief learning officer of Ayala Education (ACEd).
Despite time constraints, Latreille was able to provide an exhaustive discussion about AI. He touched on its definition, capability, limitations, as well as its impact on human jobs. Here are the key takeaways:
Programmatic Machine Intelligence is the area of AI to prepare for.
In Latreille’s terms, it refers to the ability of computers to mimic human functions that involve predefined actions and require minimal mental effort. With this, human beings must understand AI as it will soon replace or augment them in these functions. Latreille reiterated this point because the development of other AI like super intelligence, which refers to the ability of computers to surpass the cognitive ability of humans, will still take a long time.
AI works in the linear form while humans work or should work in the parallel form.
The kind of AI that we have now operate on a set of rules that involve minimal analysis. Looking at the big picture, AI can generally improve processes and accomplish tasks much faster than humans. One good example would be a machine assisting a doctor in analyzing x-ray films. However, this can also mean doctors would no longer need assistance from x-ray technicians because of the machine’s advancement. Other jobs that AI can also take over are bookkeeping, accounting, and research since it takes a set of rules in order to accomplish these tasks.
This just shows that upskilling or reskilling is necessary for humans to start collaborating with machines rather than getting replaced by it.
AI can mimic emotions.
It was long argued that AI cannot fully take over call center jobs because of its lack of human touch but during the talk, Latreille forwards that AI today can copy or sense emotions because reading sentiment has a formula. He furthered that it is only the linguistic ability that keeps AI from taking over voice call center services and that with enough clean data, AI can outperform humans.
To keep up with the changes caused by AI, Latreille left the following call-to-action:
- Learn AI because it will be the new computer. Not learning AI will be like not learning how to operate a computer in the 90’s.
- Accept that AI will augment, replace and create human work.
- Strategize a way to reposition your workforce to operate on tasks that AI cannot do.
Leading the point of discussion for Data Analytics was Daniel Meyer. He is the founder and president of Decision-Making, Analysis, and Intelligence Philippines (DMAIPH).
Unlike Latreille, Meyer didn’t go into detail about what data analytics is. Instead, he focused on the huge discrepancy between the supply and demand for Data Analytics in the Philippines, with the intention to change this current landscape. Here are the key takeaways from his facts-filled discussion:
Lack of means to supply the needed Filipino talent for Data Analytics.
Meyer pointed out that the Philippines only have a few training providers for data analytics. In the 2, 000 Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines, only 10 to 20 offer Data Science and Analytics (DSA) subjects. There are also only 3 to 4 schools that offer graduate studies for DSA.
High demand for Filipino data analysts.
Meyer reinforced his initial point through presenting facts that show the high demand for Filipino DSA talents. He forwarded that there are 2, 000 current DSA job vacancies on Jobstreet. In fact, there are 17, 000 new DSA jobs posted on the same job portal year to date. In his blog on DMAIPH, Meyer reiterated this point by enumerating the salary rate of Filipino data analysts.
Filling the gap
To start producing the needed human capital for Data Analytics, Meyer enumerated the following training providers:
- University of the Philippines
- Decision-Making, Analytics, and Intelligence Philippines
- Sonic Analytics
- Asian Institute of Management
- Khan Academy
- Analytics Association of the Philippines
The first IBPAP Talks Human Tech Series provided a significant learning experience among IT-BPM participants. There were a bulk of new discoveries that cleared prior knowledge about AI and Data Analytics.
But the ultimate take away from the entire session is that there are available ways to keep up with the changing landscape of work. This brings hope that human beings can survive the challenge to reskill and upskill.
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