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Exploring new technological advancements through 10th DLSU Technology Summit

The La Salle Computer Society (LSCS) held its two-day webinar titled Technology Summit 2022: Reimagining Our World In Tech last September 24 and October 1 via Facebook Live and Zoom. The summit explored present technological advancements through speakers from the fields of computer science and technology. 

Trusting the process

LSCS Project Head Criscela Racelis kicked off the webinar with her opening remarks. “We hope you are excited to reimagine our world in technology,” she prefaced.

Dr. Charibeth Cheng, associate dean of De La Salle University’s College of Computer Studies, presented first as she discussed how natural language processing (NLP)—a branch of artificial intelligence that teaches computers to understand verbal and nonverbal context—can be used to support the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDG) through its accessibility and affordability. “I want to focus on how NLP can be used to discover insights that can be used to support the SDGs,” she added.

Cheng also tackled how Germany had recently conducted a socioeconomic survey consisting of open-ended questions, which utilized topic modeling—an artificial intelligence technique that detects word patterns between documents—to process the responses that they garnered. These were then integrated into qualitative social science research to determine relevant topics reported by its respondents.

Accenture’s Intelligent Platform Services Lead Stephan Alba subsequently talked about their company’s impact on technology and human ingenuity. He established this through the discussion of their three mission pillars: space to earth, earth to space, and space and beyond. Through these, he pointed out how their use of technology has “[tied] things together to create a very plausible solution.”

Alba also tackled Accenture’s wildlife response platform, which is structured upon space-borne data analysis—a technological advancement that helps in acquiring raw and processed satellite pictures. The platform also utilizes a transformation pipeline which simply converts raw data into images used for modeling. 

Let the games begin

Ira Garcia, who is currently the MSI’s product marketing manager of global gaming laptop company MSI, next showcased a variety of leading computer processors in technology today. Highlighted was the 12th generation Intel core mobile processor, which is the “most advanced mobile processor because of its desktop caliber technology,” Garcia posited.

He also discussed the Intel core HX platform, which delivers maximal performance for user efficiency. According to Garcia, the processor has unrivaled mobile performance with its three-dimensional rendering and efficiency cores.

The final speaker for the summit’s first day was Aaron Fajardo, a software developer in ClinkIT Solutions—which is a software services company that works in partnership with Microsoft. He took the audience through the evolution of esports through time, starting from the very first esports tournament back in 1962 up to today’s virtual reality tournaments. “The games just got better and better,” he articulated.

Looking ahead, he also tackled how virtual reality tournaments are currently stepping onto the scene, describing them as the “esports of tomorrow”, which includes more games, teams, and most importantly: more fun.

Technology: Friend or foe

The second day began with a discussion by Cathrina Eloisa Tan, a senior associate for Cybersecurity who specializes in privacy and security risk assessments at SGV/EY, a multidisciplinary professional services firm. Her talk focused on how an attacker could go about with breaching a system and what they may gain by doing so. 

While there are many types of cyber attacks, she notes that the pattern of the attacks are similar, referring to this as the “cyber kill chain”. The chain boils down to gathering information on the system, creating the code for exploitation, and sending the code to the target. This then initiates the execution and installation of the code, enabling it to take control over the system and do something with that access. 

The next talk by Dr. Andres Mayol, an associate professor of the University’s Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Management, focused on technology related to the environment. Mayol stated that the key to keeping the world’s net temperature change lower than two degrees celsius is to aim to have zero greenhouse gas emissions. 

He explained that using renewable energy sources to provide electricity with minimal greenhouse gas emissions is an effective way to achieve net zero emissions. Biomass—a resource that comes from plants and animals—is one source of energy that is being researched on through the creation of microalgae refinery technologies. He further talked about the conceptualization of the smart biorefinery system, which integrates AI in the processing of biomass. 

Following Mayol was Albert Yumol, a Senior Data Scientist for Wholesale Banking at ING Netherlands. Yumol’s talk focused on the concept of “big data”—extremely large datasets—and the role that data plays in advanced areas like machine learning.

He pointed out that there are several ethical considerations regarding big data. For example, it could be used to create applications and programs to help in things such as fraud detection. However, the tool also poses threats such as the creation of deep fakes with the intent to harm someone else. 

Arnold Alabastro, artificial intelligence lead from Accenture, then talked about automated fact-checking with the use of machine learning. This is done by first identifying what claims need to be verified, retrieving evidence from other sources, creating neural networks for the information retrieved, and finally having the computer decide on its veracity. 

However, Alabastro did note that the computer does not give true or false verdicts for every statement it fact checks—sometimes it states that is is unsure. Accuracy levels are also presented; should the accuracy be too low for certain results, a human may also intervene to double-check.

The final talk for Technology Summit 2022 was given by BreederDAO’s Kharl Yeung and Marco Romero, who discussed blockchain technology and the controversial non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Bitcoin is a financial system derived from blockchain—a highly secure database—that allows a peer-to-peer cash system that is not governed by any entity. Blockchain transactions are decentralized, immutable, and trustless. Instead of putting all the power into one authority, it allows for the community to trace and keep a record of the transactions being made. 

NFTs are digital images that are also built on blockchain technology. These images raise controversy as many question if they truly hold any value. To Yeung, the certificates of authenticity provided by NFTs ensure that there is more scarcity and, therefore, value added to digital images that could easily be reproduced by anyone. 

The Technology Summit 2022 stayed true to its theme of reimagining the world with all the new emerging technologies that were discussed. It brought plenty of great insights to its audience, showing them the many different fields of technology to explore and, one day, contribute to.

By Jericho Zulueta

By Krizchelle Wong

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