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LSCS holds ninth DLSU Technology Summit online

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The La Salle Computer Society successfully carried out DLSU Technology Summit 2021, the ninth iteration of its flagship event, last June 26 and July 3. With the theme “Uncovering Potential within Reach”, various experts in the field of interactive entertainment, digital art, blockchain, and start-up technology businesses lent their expertise by engaging in a series of talks.

The engineering of entertainment

The first talk, by Full-Stack Software Engineer Alexander Sherwin, was about generative art, which is art created by an autonomous system such as a computer, with an intentionally added element of randomness. Sherwin explained that this method takes the agency from the human, who need only to program the rules and boundaries of the art generated. 

He focused on generative art created via p5, a JavaScript library for creative coding accessible through a publicly available web editor. Besides demonstrating p5’s capabilities, he also emphasized the beauty in art that is not necessarily perfect, highlighting that both generative art and nature create beauty through luck and randomness.

Meanwhile, Raymon Manalo, Head of Experience Design at GIDC Philippines’ Digital Engineering & Innovation Group, introduced 3D Modeling as another form of computer-generated graphics, wherein three-dimensional digital representations of objects or surfaces are created using specialized software, such as 3D Maya or Blender. These representations are made via the manipulation of vertices in 3D space. The planes created through the connection of these vertices, called meshes, are also manipulated.

The introduction of 3D modeling to development processes, Manalo said, has allowed for greater cost efficiency, easier flaw recognition, and higher levels of detail and accuracy. It is for these reasons that 3D finds use in a wide range of industries. 3D printing, for example, finds use in healthcare through the creation of prosthetics, and 3D rendering is used in architecture and marketing. It is also used in game development, a topic discussed by the next speaker.

Secret 6 Technical Developer Red Quito provided a brief introduction on getting started in the field of game development. Unity and Unreal Engine are some of the programs usually recommended for aspiring game engineers due to their popularity and industry-standard features. 

Aspiring game developers can also hone their skills, connect with other individuals in the community, and expand their portfolio by participating in game jams such as Global Game Jam, GMTK Game Jam, and Ludum Dare. A well-prepared portfolio can later be submitted to one of the several established game studios in the Philippines.

The first day of the event ended with Team Lead for Xsplit’s Onboarding Team Sam Cobangbang discussing the fundamentals of live streaming, followed by a live demonstration of the Xsplit Broadcaster. Live streaming has become more prevalent due to the pandemic preventing face-to-face gatherings. This setup allows real-time engagements between the streamers and their audience and provides a platform for entertainment, education, and other purposes.

Hardware, software, and internet speed are also important factors that one must consider during a live streaming session as they could greatly affect the audience’s experience.

Availing a personal computer with good specifications and a fast and stable internet connection is usually recommended for aspiring streamers, who should also be aware of copyright precautions. Learning these know-hows can enable streamers to build and expand their brands by promoting their streams on social media platforms, repurposing their content, streaming consistently, and engaging with their viewers. 

The future of business, finance

Senior Finance Associate of the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange Alexandra Mathay gave an overview of blockchain, which allows the transfer of ownership of an item from one person to another. The system removes the need for an intermediary while securely storing information in a decentralized network.

The technology is also utilized in digital assets or asset-backed tokens, which are tied to an existing physical asset. The token can represent that asset in any exchange or transfer of ownership. The tokenization of assets is already present in the Philippines through platforms like Pricelocq and Bonds.ph.

AI has also begun to play a role in manufacturing, the stock market, and sales. Ria Flora, Head of Special Projects at Sneti AI, shared how AI is taught to mimic human behavior, thought processes, and to act intelligently and rationally with the data and information it is given. Companies have so far managed to reduce machine downtime in manufacturing and affect how manufactured goods are marketed and sold. The technology has also aided in our desire for self-improvement with platforms such as Grammarly and Monday.com. Further improvements in smart manufacturing, digital finance, and business process automation are also expected.

Through his experience as the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Akadasia, Neelesh Bhatia shared that creating a technology startup requires both passion and the hunger for success. This means working long hours as the owner, oftentimes sacrificing one’s social life. Creating a startup is similar to creating one’s future as jobs available today may not be available in the future. 

He pointed out that students are in an ideal position to create a startup given relatively lower risk and more opportunities to receive help from others. While the first few attempts may fail, what is important is not giving up, remaining focused, and pushing forward. 

By Bea Condes

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