UPLB Economics Students Host Insightful Online Webinar on AI Regulation

Marking an era of readiness for rapid technological advancements, the ECON 155 class from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Department of Economics hosted an enlightening online webinar on December 2, 2023. The event, titled “Out of the Matrix: Exploring the Need for AI Regulation,” fostered a rich dialogue on the future of artificial intelligence (AI) regulation, emphasizing the importance of ethical and responsible development in this field.

The webinar featured a diverse panel of experts, each bringing unique perspectives and insights into the realm of AI regulation. Department of Economics Chairperson Dr. Gideon Carnaje graced the event with an inspiring opening message, warmly welcoming the esteemed speakers, attendees, and organizers.

The first speaker, Mr. Killian Woods, is renowned for his expertise in sustainability and technology. As an ambassador for the European Climate Pact of the European Commission and Co-Founder of Worldology and 1407 Graymalkin Group, Woods stressed the necessity of understanding AI’s complexities. His talk highlighted the dual need to recognize AI’s benefits and the risks involved in its regulation, emphasizing AI’s multifaceted nature. During the webinar, he was also present at the Conference of the Parties (CoP 28) in Dubai, representing Ireland.

Ms. Ann Buizon, a UP alumna and senior linguist working with a number of Silicon Valley firms, brought her extensive experience in AI and linguistics to the discussion. She explored the concept of AI regulation by function and industry, underlining the possibility of a governing body to oversee compliance. Buizon’s approach to AI regulation combined practical insights with an understanding of AI’s intricate nature and the challenges inherent in governmental processes.

The third speaker was Atty. Nemanja Sladakovic. A senior associate at Gecic Law and based in Belgrade, he delved into the economic implications of AI regulation. Drawing on his legal background and expertise in Commercial and Corporate Law, Sladakovic argued for a thorough cost-benefit analysis of AI regulation. He highlighted the balance between safeguarding citizens and fostering technological advancement, noting that overly stringent regulations could hinder a country’s technological growth.

The webinar also featured a panel discussion with the three speakers and the class professor, Atty. Chad Patrick Osorio. A Senior Lecturer at UPLB and a 2022 Global AI Ambassador by SwissCognitive, Osorio facilitated a comprehensive dialogue where the panelists shared their experiences and research, reiterating the critical question of whether to regulate AI to ensure its responsible development and use.

Organized by Atty. Chad Patrick Osorio and his Economics of Regulation class, the webinar was a resounding success. It attracted nearly a hundred participants from all over the Philippines, who engaged actively with the panelists, seeking insights into AI’s usage, innovation, and regulation. The event not only provided a platform for learning but also sparked ongoing conversations about the future of AI and its impact on society.

In conclusion, the UPLB ECON 155 class’s initiative to host this webinar demonstrated their commitment to understanding and shaping the discourse around AI regulation in the Philippine context. The event stands as a testament to the importance of interdisciplinary dialogue in navigating the complexities of emerging technologies.

-Divine Grace Pajo (BS Economics Student)

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