Is AI killing Call Center Jobs?

April 25, 2024

What exactly is AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. AI can perform tasks like speech recognition, facial recognition, planning and problem solving.

Today, the use of AI is being maximized to innovate processes, operations, systems in businesses, organizations, and even the government. Because of its ability to replicate tasks being done by humans, it has given these entities significant increases in their productivity and profitability.

Why should you care?

The Philippines, in particular, has been aware of this technological uprising which will greatly affect the BPO industry. Different players in the industry have been looking at ways that the country needs to prepare for the revolution.

AI can augment some of the work being done in BPO companies, forecasting a massive increase in productivity. Menial and repetitive tasks such as administrative work can become automated, allowing for the allocation of resources in different areas of focus.

According to Dr. Diosdado “Dado” Banatao, the chairman of Philippine Development Foundation, most of the estimated 1.3 million Filipinos working in the BPO industry will be displaced over the next two years by AI technology currently being developed for BPOs.

So yes, AI is killing call center jobs.

The good news:

From the words of Maverick Shih, Acer cloud unit president,

“Humans should not fear AI, as machines need humans to write the computer codes that run them.”

This opens up a huge opportunity for Filipino employees to upgrade and learn tech skills that would help them stay relevant in the years to come with the uprising of AI.

BPO companies are working with the government to help call center agents upgrade their skills to higher value industries such as healthcare information management, software development, and data analytics.

The Philippine government has also been working on initiatives that empower this movement. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in particular are working on partnerships that train our country’s IT, science, and engineering graduates to create AI solutions for the global marketplace.

For us at Symph, this has been a long known fact and we are doing what we can as a company to contribute to this movement. We work on projects that allow us to train our team about AI and its applications to innovate the products we build for our clients.

In image: Geostore - A Disclosure, Monitoring, and Feedback platform we built for tracking PH road projects that utilized Machine Learning to identify the road surface type in road images

Our team also mentors bootcamps and educational programs on web development especially for newbies who do not have a tech background.

In image: iHub one-month coding bootcamp taught by our CTO Albert Padin

In image: Training we did for Philippine government agencies on how to use Openroads Geostore__

Aside from those, we also organize AI and Machine Learning workshops in the community that hone developers’ skills towards utilizing AI in products and systems that they build.

What should you do?

Here are a few tips you can take:

  • Learn Python and Tensorflow to take part in the coming 4th Industrial Revolution. Make your living by teaching the machines how to improve human lives.
  • Learn design. Human behavior, intuition, emotion and beauty are all still too complex for a computer to understand. We still need humans to design experiences.
  • Start something new. Be involved in community activities that serve as avenues for you to meet like-minded people and exchange ideas or open potential partnerships. Machines can now talk, but they can’t yet think of new ideas nor start new things.
  • Work in companies that push you to practice a wide range of skills. AI is still highly specialized, and there are still many things that humans can do that machines can’t. Work with a team that gives you opportunities to learn these new things and develop new skills.

AI will revolutionize industries and will replace a lot of our jobs. Through that replacement, we will need to create new jobs, new opportunities and ensure that we have the skills to enable society to succeed. The changes in this technical revolution are scary, but it is now our biggest opportunity to ensure that the changes are liberating.

Interested to learn more about AI and Machine Learning (ML)? Start off by learning how ML works here!