Tatak Pinoy AI Center to open in June

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that it is expecting to open the country's premiere Center for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR), under the Tatak Pinoy Act, by June or early July this year.

During the ceremonial signing of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Tatak Pinoy on May 22, DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba told reporters that they are already procuring equipment and holding interviews with data scientists.

CAIR will occupy a 1,000 square meter (sqm) floor within the Filinvest building located in Makati City, which is being leased by the DTI. This will be shared with some of the offices of the DTI - Competitiveness and Innovation Group, the Industry 4.0 Pilot Factory, and co-working spaces for startups.

It will run with six to seven data scientists initially, and cater to the needs of all kinds of businesses in relation to AI.

"This is not just for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), but is also open to large companies, multinationals, with partnerships with tech companies to provide AI training," said Aldaba.

The budget allocation for the CAIR is around P75 million from the initial P350 million allocated for the Tatak Pinoy Act this year, meant to jumpstart the programs, she explained.

The private partners for CAIR are still up for nomination, she noted, with the agency preparing guidelines and criteria.

Among those they are trying to engage with are the tech giants Microsoft, Google, Meta, AWS (Amazon Web Services), Siemens, Bosch, and Oracle. In particular, Aldaba highlighted NVIDIA, a tech company specializing in gaming software, which can bring in more innovative opportunities for the sector.

"In the Center, we want the main players in our ecosystem to encourage them to conduct their research and development (R&D)," she remarked.  

Soon to also launch is the Industry 4.0 Pilot Factory (I4PF), that works in tandem with the CAIR under the Tatak Pinoy's technology and innovation targets.

This factory will be used for smart manufacturing activities, servicing businesses in the internet of things (IoT), big data, and other tech services.

Aldaba added that they are also in talks with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and University of the Philippines (UP) School of Economics for partnerships for I4PF.