Atayde advocates for bill to safeguard labor against artificial intelligence

Congressman Juan Carlos Atayde Pushes for Legislation Protecting Filipino Workers from AI Automation

Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde of Quezon City’s first district is advocating for the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to empower the productivity of Filipino workers, rather than replace them. Atayde recently introduced House Bill No. 9488, also known as the “Protection of Labor Against AI Automation Act,” in support of this cause.

Atayde emphasized that AI has the potential to greatly enhance productivity and efficiency, leading to increased employment opportunities. However, he also acknowledged the valid concerns that AI technology may pose threats to the labor force, potentially leading to job displacement.

Under Section 5 of the proposed law, the use of AI and automation technologies to replace human workers resulting in displacement, loss of job security, reduction of salaries or benefits, or unemployment is prohibited, unless equivalent alternative employment opportunities are made available for affected workers.

The bill also prohibits employers from using AI exclusively to hire, assess, and terminate employees, requiring any use of AI or automated systems in these processes to be directly supervised and complemented by human oversight.

While the legislation aims to prevent job losses due to the adoption of AI, Section 7 allows for the use of AI in industries or positions where it is deemed necessary for safety, efficiency, or the overall benefit of society, as long as appropriate measures are adopted to mitigate job displacement.

Atayde’s advocacy for protecting Filipino workers from AI automation was influenced by a recent trip to the United States, where he learned about concerns raised by Hollywood writers and artists regarding job losses and reduced wages due to AI in the film industry. In September 2023, the Writers Guild of America ended their strike after securing stringent guidelines for the use of AI in Hollywood.

The use of AI refers to the development of computer systems capable of performing tasks typically requiring human intelligence. AI algorithms are designed to develop expert systems capable of making predictions or classifications using input data.

Atayde’s efforts reflect a growing global conversation about the impact of AI on the workforce, with a focus on ensuring that AI technology is used to benefit and empower workers, rather than displacing them.

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