Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a tool, a co-pilot that can enhance personal and business productivity, Accenture Philippines Managing Director and Innovation Lead Arvin Yason told a gathering of students, teachers, and business leaders during Southwestern University PHINMA’s BusinessNext 2023 conference.
Yason discussed the development of AI, particularly generative AI, and its impact on industry during the annual conference by Southwestern University PHINMA.
BusinessNext 2023 was organized by the university in partnership with Accenture Philippines and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI). It was held in Radisson Blu in Cebu City last October 18, 2023.
The event was the 4th staging of the annual conference, said Dr. Sheila Cayabyab, Southwestern University PHINMA VP of Academics. Cayabyab said in her welcome address that the forum was a way to “learn business from business,” where they invite industry leaders to talk about trends and innovation as a way “to be always ahead of the demands of the industry.”
Yason encouraged the attendees, especially those in the academe, to embrace AI and other technology like the cloud.
He emphasized the need, however, for businesses to be prepared and informed when tapping new technology like generative AI. He explained that large language models (LLM) that are under the hood of AI chatbots do not really understand the way we humans understand language, but what they do is predict the next word.
He cautioned that generative AI can make up information, a phenomenon called AI hallucination, and businesses need to put guardrails in place. For one, businesses have to make sure that their data are ready. Companies must also put security measures in place. Organizations also have to play safe by ensuring they own the intellectual property (IP) of data ingested by LLMs. You need to build your own models, said Yason.
With technologies like the cloud, it is now more accessible for smaller organizations to tap new tech such as AI, he said.
Yason also assuaged fears of jobs loss saying AI won’t replace humans but will make them much more productive by serving as copilots and tech assistants to human workers. He cited as an example what they’re doing in human resources where AI provides coaching and access to related information for what the HR employee is handling.
AI systems can preprocess complaints and support requests and free employees to handle tasks that would require human engagement, said Yason.
In his closing remarks, CCCI VP for Business Development Benny Que said the forum is “ a testament to the relentless spirit of innovation and progress that defines Cebu’s business landscape.”
“With a better and deeper understanding that AI is not poised to replace jobs but rather will serve as a tool in augmenting industries with their business processes and production, we are positioned for a future full of possibilities,” Que said.
Que asked those present to “embrace this digital transformation as a window to the future. Let us not just be spectators but active participants. We must adapt and fundamentally change the way we do things, and most importantly rethink the status quo.”
BusinessNext 2023 is held annually as a way to expand SWU PHINMA’s “expertise beyond medicine and health science education- strengthening its reputation in business, accountancy and hospitality management.”