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Imee wants artificial intelligence in BPOs and OEMs to be regulated.

Senator Imee Marcos on Sunday called for an inquiry into the use of artificial intelligence (AI) that poses a major threat to workers in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) and Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) industries.

“AI is developing faster than most people can comprehend and is threatening to take away jobs and turn employment growth upside down,” Marcos, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said in a news release.

She claimed that the BPO sector and factory employees, who supported the nation’s economy during the worst of the coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, are at great risk from AI.

From 2020 to 2021, or when the world was critically combating the consequences of the pandemic, the BPO industry rose by 10 percent to US$29.5 billion.

Will manufacturing workers and contact center employees who supported our economy during a worldwide health crisis soon be considered disposable? she said.

In her Senate Resolution No. 591, Marcos highlighted research from Oxford Economics and the US-based Cisco that at least 1.1 million employees in the Philippines will vanish by 2028.

Some 50 percent of worldwide organizations are seen adopting AI and automated machines this year, and investments in such technology are projected to increase by 50 percent to 100 percent in the next three years.

According to Marcos, in the face of these predictions, “upskilling and training of workers in special services that AI cannot easily replace must be asserted in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of every company.”

She also stressed the urgency of educating lawmakers about global developments in AI technology through Senate inquiry and the need for the legislative and executive branches of government to deal squarely with “an inevitable technological tsunami.”

Marcos stated that to combat high unemployment; Congress must create regulations and update the Revised Penal Code, Intellectual Property Code, and Cybercrime Prevention Act as appropriate.

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