Manila: Philippines which recently displaced India as the call-centre capital of the world, has a new worry to deal with - the dramatic rise of Artificial Intelligence. The business that is estimated at $23 billion and which is in a very healthy state is worried that the steady rise of Artificial Intelligence may cut into the business's growth in the state.
The biggest advantage that Philippines has that is the wide usage of English as the spoken language throughout the country, maybe at stake as the AI-powered language translators may begin to take root in the business.
The Philippines' BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry serves as one of the vital GDP generators of the South-East nation and over the last few years has elevated itself to be an economic lifeline to nearly 100 million people. The employment generated by the BPO sector total up to 1.15 million people, and in addition to remittances from overseas workers, is one of the top two economic providers of foreign exchange.
The former American colony overtook India in 2011 with the largest number of voice-based BPO services in the world. However, AI is expected to drive 40,000-50,000 ‘low-skilled' workers out of jobs in the next five years making in the big dent in the BPO powered nation. Contact centers make up four-fifths of the Philippines' total BPO industry, which accounts for 12.6 percent of the global market for BPO, according to IBPAP.
The key challenge for Philippines is to stay relevant without having the back-up of the English-speaking population behind it. Experts predict an upturn in people taking up high-skill AI-oriented jobs in the areas of data analytics, machine learning, and data mining.