Microsoft’s Initiative to Empower Philippine Women with AI and Cybersecurity Training

US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (C) speaks during a meeting with business executives at a hotel in Manila on March 12, 2024. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)
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Microsoft to Train 100,000 Philippine Women on AI Technology and Cybersecurity

Tech giant Microsoft has announced its plans to train 100,000 women in the Philippines on artificial intelligence technology and cybersecurity. The program was unveiled during a two-day trade mission led by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. This initiative aims to empower women with workplace skills and equip them with the knowledge to recognize and combat cybersecurity threats.

Empowering Women with AI Tools

Through an online platform, the women in the Philippines will have the opportunity to learn how to effectively utilize Microsoft’s AI tools, including those powered by OpenAI’s large language models. By gaining proficiency in these tools, the participants will enhance their workplace capabilities and contribute to the advancement of the country’s economy.

Mary Snapp, an official from Microsoft, expressed enthusiasm about the potential impact of AI technology in the Philippines. She stated, “We are very excited about the potential for the Philippines to drive economic advancement using enhanced AI technology in a positive way.” Microsoft will collaborate with government agencies and local schools to provide training to government employees, ensuring widespread access to these valuable learning opportunities.

Bolstering Cybersecurity and Trust in Tech Adoption

Rafaelita Aldaba, the Philippine Trade Undersecretary, highlighted the significance of this training program in strengthening cybersecurity measures and fostering trust in technology adoption. As the country faces challenges with disinformation, Mary Snapp emphasized that the joint initiative would include a robust focus on education. The goal is to enable individuals to better identify manipulated content and distinguish between authentic and altered information.

“There’s going to be a really strong focus and education campaign so that people who are looking at content are much better able to identify what’s been changed, what’s not been changed,” Snapp explained. By equipping individuals with the skills to navigate and critically evaluate digital content, Microsoft aims to tackle the issue of disinformation effectively.

AI-Powered Reading Progress Tool for Philippine Students

In addition to the training program for women, Microsoft plans to introduce an AI-powered reading progress tool for approximately 27 million students in the Philippines. This collaboration with the Philippine Education Department aims to address the country’s literacy challenges. A recent study conducted by the World Bank in 2022 revealed that nine out of every ten 10-year-old students in the Philippines struggle with reading simple texts.

By leveraging the capabilities of AI technology, Microsoft aims to support educators and enhance the reading skills of students across the country. This tool will provide personalized feedback and guidance to students, enabling them to improve their reading abilities and foster a love for learning.

In conclusion, Microsoft’s initiative to train 100,000 Philippine women on AI technology and cybersecurity holds great promise for the country’s economic advancement. By equipping women with essential workplace skills and knowledge, Microsoft aims to empower them and contribute to the development of a more secure digital landscape. Furthermore, the introduction of an AI-powered reading progress tool for Philippine students demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to improving literacy rates and fostering a culture of learning. Through these initiatives, Microsoft is playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of technology and education in the Philippines.

Source: The Manila Times

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