Case Studies

Infrastructure for growth

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Infrastructure for growth While its economy ranks among the best performers in Asia in recent years, the Philippines suffers high rates of poverty. As the country works to reduce this rate to 14% by 2022, outdated and insufficient infrastructure remains an obstacle to success. Recognizing that upgraded infrastructure is required across all sectors to reduce poverty and stimulate private investment, the Philippine government's investment in public infrastructure rose in 2018, with a target of reaching 6% of GDP by 2022. Completed projects will benefit the Philippine economy and citizens. Better transportation and internet services will help farmers bring produce to market and raise the income of the rural population. Improvements in telecom infrastructure will support the planned national digital ID system, promoting efficiency and transparency and helping to reduce corruption. Such improvements are also a prerequisite for expanding digital financial services to support the Philippines' growing economy. Of all sectors, telecommunications infrastructure in the Philippines lags furthest behind other countries in the region. Closing this gap requires knowing what to build and where, amid a rapidly changing socioeconomic landscape. With sources such as census data or housing registries outdated or nonexistent, Pacific Data Resources (Asia) Inc. provided imagery in its collaboration with Thinking Machines Data Science, Inc. to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) solution to characterize residential buildings and accurately predict wealth with high levels of accuracy. GUIDING INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE How to spend $1 billion One of the Philippines' largest telecom operators allocated more than $1 billion USD for capital expenditures in 2019. With no recent census data or reliable house registry available, the firm began manually tagging and classifying houses using Google Earth and on-ground survey data. This process was extremely labor intensive, expensive and slow. $1 billion is a high amount, but with many different products and services available (plus 7,641 islands to consider) the company needed a faster, more reliable way to allocate funds and complete the project. case study "The results of our work were reliant on finding data at the resolution and scale the AI models needed. Maxar high-resolution satellite imagery was exactly what we needed and offered the coverage and scale to execute on our project". — Niek van Veen VP for Operations & Strategy, Thinking Machines Sample of automated building detection results

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