PH DOST Chief: Emerging Tech is Good but Prepare for Risks

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November 9, 2018. The Philippines has become the cradle of emerging technologies in the world. With the welcoming arms of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), up to the high mobile penetration and low numbers of financial inclusivity in the country, it has been a fertile ground for FinTech investment.

Mr. Fortunato Dela Peña, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary reminded everyone in a conference speech that although emerging tech is a good thing, it can also bring in potential risks.

In his speech at 16th National Congress of the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers (PIIE) at Pasay City, Mr. Dela Peña not only addressed the growth of emerging technology but also its potential risks. He said that the world is gearing up for Industry 4.0 that consists of cyber-physical systems, internet of things, cloud computing, and cognitive computing.

“Among the breakthroughs that characterize Industry 4.0 are IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence), 3D printing, big data and analytics, advanced robotics, blockchain. I am proud to say we have invested in most of these things,” – Mr. Fortunato Dela Peña, Secretary, DOST

With the introduction of IoT, 5G, and mobile phones, the DOST Secretary said that these technologies may mean employment and development but will lead to skills gaps. AI and speech recognition will help aid in safety and security but will also result in the same.

“For instance, in biotechnology, there is genomics, gene-editing. These are good for food, crops, and human health. But these (technologies) might also result in irreversible changes in the environment, military use, among others,” – Mr. Fortunato Dela Peña, Secretary, DOST

In terms of using nanotechnology in water treatment and having a decentralized water, there is a potential risk for toxicity. But he also admits that the technology may open a good opportunity in both water and energy industries.

One of the most popular rivers in the country, Pasig River and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with a local blockchain company Cypher Odin. According to Mr. Mariano Villafuerte IV, Cypher Odin’s CEO, his company will deploy IoT and Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT) to monitor the amount of garbage, quality, tide levels, etc. The blockchain will help it relay the information gathered in a trusted, peer-to-peer, interagency platform.

Read morePasig River To Be Cleaned Up With The Use of Blockchain and IoT

The 16th National Congress of the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers (PIIE) was held at Manila Mariott Hotel, Pasay on September 28-29, 2018. It was attended by professional industrial engineers nationwide.

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