Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our subscriber list to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly in your inbox.

Philippines seen to ‘lead’ with AI as security tool in SEA

The Philippines is expected to lead among Southeast Asian (SEA) countries when it comes to leveraging generative AI for cybersecurity despite its shortage of cybersecurity professionals, an executive from Amazon Web Services (AWS) said.

Phil Rodrigues, the head of security AWS in Asia Pacific and Japan Commercial, believes that the shortage is a big opportunity for the country to fill it with generative AI trained by Filipino cybersecurity professionals.

He cited a 2023 study by USAID, where it was reported that the Philippines only has 200 cybersecurity professionals compared to Singapore’s 3,000.

Based on how AI has been used to “augment” human capabilities, the AWS Head of Security sees this imbalance to be turned into a potential used in the Philippines to protect itself better and meet commercial needs in the region.

“[…] At the exact same time generative AI is really becoming much more practical, especially in cybersecurity use cases, there’s a good chance for the Philippines to leap ahead,” he said during an online media briefing. 

Moreover, Rodrigues “absolutely” encourages the Filipino cybersecurity and development community to embrace AI-powered co-development tools to improve their coding for its businesses, governments, and the rest of the world.

“That’s one really practical, very immediate, very sort of ‘now place’ that the Philippines can start,” he added.

Similarly, AWS chief technologist in Asia Pacific Oliver Klein said that the adoption of generative AI would be “highly relevant” for boosting employee productivity in the Philippines.

Klein cited an experiment they did with the Amazon Code Whisperer, which is an AI coding companion, where two groups consisting of a soft engineering team were assigned tasks to complete. 

The results showed that the group with access to the code companion had 27% faster completion rates than the other. 

Additionally, the chief technologist said that BPO companies in the Philippines will greatly benefit from generative AI in optimizing business processes. 

“This is a good example of AI, and humans kind of working together,” he said.

Both of the AWS executives emphasized on their mission of “democratizing” technology, AI, and security.

“We’ve been doing that for a long time with threat detection, with encryption, etcetera. We’re doing that now with generative AI and we’re going to continue to do that,” Rodrigues said.

Amazon is one the companies that have been tapping into the usage of generative AI in use cases, releasing new AI tools for its customers, such as its Amazon Q chatbot and Amazon Bedrock.