Education program in the country, wants 1 million Filipinos trained in AI.

Baguio City representative and Chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education Mark Go proposed actions on artificial intelligence (AI), including training 1 million
Filipinos in AI, in a privilege speech delivered at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, August 22, 2023. Rep. Go made the proposal, which includes establishing an AI education program, and a
grant facility for AI research, amid the proliferation of generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT that have already affected industries worldwide since their introduction in 2022.

This AI education program aims to educate 1 million Filipinos, inspired by Finland’s initiative to train 1 percent of its citizens in AI and the Development Academy of the Philippines’ Project SPARTA, which offers free courses in data and analytics. “This program will empower individuals across diverse backgrounds to grasp the essentials of AI, bridging the gap and nurturing a workforce equipped to harness its potential, he said.

He also sought the establishment of a grant facility for AI research geared towards startups and the academe. “This facility will extend support to Private Higher Education Institutions, State Universities and Colleges, and Local Colleges and Universities, enabling them to undertake impactful AI projects and cultivate the capacity to provide comprehensive AI education. Through these grants, we aspire to foster a rich pool of knowledge, enabling our institutions to drive cutting-edge advancements and cultivate a robust AI ecosystem,” he said.

The lawmaker argued that AI presented challenges and benefits to the nation, from new industry and educational opportunities to potential job displacement, deepfakes, and ethical issues. He said that the desire to regulate AI technology must be balanced with nurturing innovation. Go said that with AI’s ability to automate tasks, the country must stay vigilant about potential job displacement in the workforce, adding that Filipinos must be equipped to navigate the evolving landscape of work.

“In the past, AI was the [domain] of specialized experts, requiring a deep knowledge of disciplines like mathematics, data science, and programming. Yet the landscape has evolved dramatically,” the lawmaker said, adding that artificial intelligence is becoming part of our everyday lives. It deserves
to be properly understood in order for us to make the best possible decisions for ourselves and our future.” The representative emphasizes taking decisive steps to harness AI responsibly, where education is accessible and innovation is encouraged.

“Today, with all the developments and newfound possibilities in the sector, we must ask ourselves: Should we not strive to educate 1% of Filipinos in the language of Artificial Intelligence? Our nation holds vast untapped potential, with minds capable of shaping the future. This is a question we cannot ignore.”

Amianan Balita Ngayon