David R. Hardoon
WHO’S AFRAID OF AI? Aboitiz Data Innovation CEO Dr. David R. Hardoon, presenting to ABAC delegates and guests, discusses how AI can unlock opportunities for enterprises and economies, sharing real-world examples of operationalized AI within the Aboitiz Group.

Cebu, Philippines – On Friday, July 28, Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. David R. Hardoon kicked off discussions on the opportunities that artificial intelligence (AI) unlocks with “Who’s Afraid of AI: Making AI Work for Enterprises and Economies.” The informal session was held on the sides of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) III meeting at the NUSTAR Convention Center.

Over 200 delegates and guests from the 21 APEC economies, representing business leaders from around the region, have arrived in Cebu, Philippines, for ABAC III. From July 27 to 30, they are engaging in collaborative discussions regarding pressing issues and challenges of the times, ultimately devising enlightened recommendations to policymakers and leaders.

The rise of AI poses as many questions as it does possibilities, making it an important topic of discussion in line with the ABAC 2023 theme of Equity. Sustainability. Opportunity. As a resource speaker and subject matter expert, Dr. Hardoon discussed how AI can be used for enterprises and economies to reach the shared vision of sustainable and inclusive growth across the region.

“Start with the end, what is that we are seeking to achieve, and I guarantee you that it’s not about AI. Sharpen the focus with an appreciation of why it is that we are pursuing that goal. Then, and only then, how. Biased as I may be, I assure you data and AI will predominantly feature in the answers to these difficult or new questions. This is a call to action, to expedite, and to make it happen,” said Dr. Hardoon.

As the data science and artificial intelligence (DSAI) arm of the Aboitiz Group, ADI is an integral part of the Aboitiz Group as it undergoes its Great Transformation to become the Philippines’ first techglomerate, fueled by technology and a renewed entrepreneurial spirit. ADI operationalizes DSAI to transform data into business and sustainability outcomes, empowering synergies across the Group.

The session broke down and simplified the complexities of AI for enterprises to address relevant challenges. This year’s ABAC theme Equity. Sustainability. Opportunity. highlights the crucial role of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as the dynamic landscape of environment, social, and governance (ESG) investing.

In the session, Dr. Hardoon shared with attendees a couple of real-world success cases from ADI of how AI has unlocked enterprise innovations across the Aboitiz Group.

In order to support MSMEs, ADI developed an alternative AI-powered credit scoring and risk model called SeekCap that can reach the Philippines’ 34.3 million unbanked adult population. Now, the Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and its fintech arm UBX are able to offer loans to individuals and MSMEs who may not have qualified under traditional scoring methods, promoting financial inclusion that can drive national and even regional economic development. In operation, the initiative has effectively doubled the Bank’s loan approval rate.

ADI has also developed a Cement Comprehensive Strength AI Tool used by Republic Cement to improve product quality adjustments for better-managed resources and improved efficiency. This has enabled operations to transform from a reactive approach to a proactive, data-driven, and environmentally sustainable approach. With better quality management and operational efficiency, Republic Cement has reduced its carbon emission by approximately 35,000 tCO2e.

On May 10-11 early this year, ADI, in partnership with Aboitiz Equity Ventures and UnionBank, held the inaugural AI Summit PH, advancing discussions and development of AI applications in the country. The APEC III session continues the trailblazing path of ADI in the AI field, fostering discussions between the public and private sectors to harness the transformative power of AI.


About Aboitiz Equity Ventures

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is the portfolio management company of the Aboitiz Group, leading investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, land, and cutting-edge fields like data science and artificial intelligence. With a remarkable legacy spanning five generations, the Aboitiz Group is committed to driving change for a better world. The Group is undergoing its Great Transformation to establish itself as the Philippines’ pioneering techglomerate. This innovative growth strategy, powered by technology and a renewed entrepreneurial mindset, empowers us to advance businesses and uplift communities.

AEV is renowned as one of the best-managed companies in the Philippines and the region, consistently recognized for our unwavering dedication to good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) through the Aboitiz Foundation.

As proud members of influential organizations such as the APEC Business Advisory Council, Private Sector Advisory Council to the Philippine government, Global Compact Network Philippines Board of Trustees, and the Global Council for Inclusive Capitalism, we actively champion sustainability initiatives both domestically and globally. Aligned with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), we drive policies, advocacies, and initiatives to make a lasting impact. Our transformative #OneNEWAboitiz Sustainability Framework aims to enhance sustainable practices in our life-essential businesses, fostering a positive impact on the environment and society.

To learn more about our journey to becoming the Philippines’ first techglomerate, visit our website: https://aboitiz.com/.

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