Aboitiz unit bullish on AI prospects

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Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI), the data science and artificial intelligence (AI) arm of the Aboitiz Group, is aiming to become the partner of organizations in “making AI” work.

David Hardoon, the CEO of ADI, said the company has ambitious plans to harness opportunities within the Philippines, while exporting its expertise to other markets.

“In 10 years, ADI will be the go-to partner in making AI work.”

Hardoon said organizations must leverage AI to address complex business challenges, particularly within the diverse and dynamic Philippine market.

“We’re going to be obsessed (with AI),” Hardoon said. “There’s now a phenomenal opportunity that we want to capitalize on and export this capability.”

He said the Philippines, with its complex archipelago, diverse demographics, and susceptibility to natural disasters, presents unique challenges and opportunities for AI applications.

Hardoon highlighted the nation’s potential as a proving ground for innovative AI solutions.

“When you build, implement, and validate a solution in the Philippines, it’s pretty much trust-marked. It’s a value proposition.”

ADI aims to extend its AI expertise beyond the Aboitiz Group to other companies within the country. Hardoon said he calls them “frenemies” or a play on the words “friends” and “enemies.”

By doing so, the company seeks to foster a collaborative ecosystem where various entities can work together to solve pressing problems.

“For this to be successful, you need to look at things as a whole…as an ecosystem with various companies working together to solve problems.”

He said ADI is open to collaboration with different organizations.

“We’re open to all because the market is so big. With 130 million people, there are different areas of expertise. Why reinvent the wheel if the wheel exists?”

Already ADI is providing its AI consultancy services to a player in the retail industry and is now having “conversations” with those in the financial sector.

Beyond the Philippines, ADI has already established a presence in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and Azerbaijan.

He said a common challenge in the world of AI is making it operational, while also reducing the apprehension of new technologies.