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Infor CEO: AI is the new ‘frontier’ for Filipino businesses

Businesses in the Philippines should take advantage of the early stages of artificial intelligence (AI) by experimenting for it will take time for growth and productivity to show, the chief executive officer of Infor said.

In an exclusive interview with Infor CEO Kevin Samuelson, he said that AI, being the “next frontier for technology” will encourage creativity that Filipino businesses and businesses in most countries should explore.

“Those that are experimenting and learning will be those that end up ultimately benefiting the most,” Samuelson told PhilSTAR Tech.

Samuelson shared that Infor, a cloud software provider for businesses especially in the manufacturing industry, has been using AI for its services and that it has brought opportunities for both client and Infor.

He said that their knowledge of the industry has allowed them to apply more advanced methods for their clients, producing “material improvement” within 30 to 45 days.

However, he added that it always takes them a lot of combination of the right data, tools, and a detailed understanding of the businesses.

“And I think that combination of capabilities is pretty hard to find,” He said.

When asked how would legacy businesses in the Philippines, that are deep into technology debt approach AI, Samuelson understood that it could be overwhelming yet not totally requiring deep technical expertise.

He said that there are a lot of third-party agencies that could help companies put “up to speed.”

“These hyperscalers have built this amazing amount of compute, put the algorithms in place.
And so I think the evolution of the technology has also made it far easier to adopt.”

‘AI adoption does come with a risk’

Despite advocating for the use of AI in business operations, Samuelson understood that any new technology is a double-edged sword.

“It’s very early days and I think everyone’s trying to figure it out,” Samuelson said.

Last June 14, The Pope Francis made a statement during his message in a Group Seven session in Italy. He reminded people not to lose control over AI as it would increasingly influence their lives.

With that, Samuelson echoed Pope Francis’ sentiments toward the responsible use of AI, saying that people should focus on maximizing the good and reducing the risk as much as possible.

“So I think the sentiment’s right. I think, though, over time, I think we’ll see that it’s probably not nearly as scary as the worst case scenario that a lot of people keep in mind,” Samuelson agreed.