UP NISMED Hosts First-Ever Day of AI - Philippines

The University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED) hosted the first-ever Day of AI – Philippines with the theme “Celebrating the Power of Artificial Intelligence” on 10 June 2023 at the UP NISMED Auditorium. The event was conducted in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, MIT Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education (MIT-RAISE), Unilab Foundation, Asian Institute of Management (AIM), and the Center for Integrated STEM Education, Inc. (CISTEM). The celebration commenced with welcome remarks from UP Diliman Chancellor Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II.

Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, the guest expert, discusses in her plenary talk, how the advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence will shape and transform industries, such as art, healthcare, education, and agriculture.

To open the morning session, a plenary talk was given by Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, the Dean for Digital Learning and a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Founder and Director of the Personal Robots Group at the Media Lab, Associate Director of the Media Lab, Director of the MIT RAISE, and Co-Founder of consumer social robotics company, Jibo, Inc. Dr. Breazeal discussed the advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence and how these advancements will shape and transform industries, such as art, healthcare, education, and agriculture. The talk also emphasized the responsible use of AI given the potential risks and downsides, along with the initiatives of Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education (RAISE) to address these issues. In addition to this, Dr. Breazeal talked about how we should prepare students to be competent members of the future workforce amid rapid technological advancements. 

Following Dr. Breazeal’s talk was the panel discussion on AI and Education moderated by UP NISMED Director, Dr. Sheryl Lyn C. Monterola. Among the panelists were Ms. Anna Liza M. Chan, a Supervising Education Program Specialist of the Bureau of Curriculum Development at the Department of Education; Ms. Redilyn C. Agub, Chief of the eTESDA Division of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); and Dr. Randolf S. Sasota, Officer-In-Charge of the Science and Technology Manpower Education Research and Promotions Division at the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI). Each panelist talked about the current programs and initiatives of their agency in relation to the adoption of AI in the country.

Ms. Anna Liza M. Chan, a Supervising Education Program Specialist of the Bureau of Curriculum Development at the Department of Education discusses with fellow panelists how the Department of Education plans to adopt AI.

A series of workshops led by resource persons from different agencies and institutions was conducted during the afternoon session. The topics of each workshop were as follows:

Workshop 1: Creating a Clothing Recommendation Device using the Micro:bit
In this workshop, Dr. Scott Batholomew, an Assistant Professor of Technology & Engineering Studies at Brigham Young University (BYU), taught participants the basics of programming the BBC micro:bit. By the end of the session, participants were able to design a device that could suggest proper clothing attire according to the temperature.

Workshop 2: AI-Based Education and Research Tools: Empowering Filipino Students and Teachers for 21st Century Inquiry 
This workshop focused on AI-driven educational technologies and how the tools could be used in creating effective and efficient instructional materials. The workshop was led by Mr. Rey-Mark G. Basagre, Mr. Rainier I. Cerna, Mr. Exedy C. Lampara, and Mr. Ramon L. Sanchez III, graduate students from the College of Education of the University of the Philippines.

Workshop 3: AI + STEAM: Merging Fun and Learning with Floor Robots
Mr. Rodel P. Cruz, the Business and Market Research Head of C&E Adaptive Learning Solutions (ALS), led this workshop on how educational robots can be used to help young children develop foundational programming and computational thinking skills. The workshop featured the educational robots TTS Bee-Bot and Blue-bot. 

Mr. Alfred C. Pelenio, one of the facilitators of the Workshop on Designing IOT and Microcontroller Projects for Classroom explains how an Arduino-based microcontroller set-up works.

Workshop 4: Designing IOT and Microcontroller Projects for Classroom Use
In this workshop, participants learned how to develop an Arduino-based project that could be used to control an IoT-telescope using a smartphone. The workshop was facilitated by the UP NISMED staff from the High School Earth Science Group, Mr. Anthony Guiller Urbano and Mr. John Alfred C. Pelenio, and from the Audiovisual Group, Mr. Renz G. Salas.

Workshop 5: Creating AI-Powered Mobile Apps
Led by Mr. Jobeth G. Martecio, Mr. John Alex M. Reyroso, and Ms. Loise Angelica G. Oruga from the Information Science Group of UP NISMED, the workshop, taught participants about Natural Language Processing (NLP) and how it can be used to create simple mobile applications that can perform basic arithmetic operations using voice commands through the MIT App Inventor.

The participants of the Workshop on Creating AI-Powered Mobile Apps happily pose with the workshop facilitators after creating their AI-powered mobile apps using MIT App Inventor.

After the workshops, a plenary session was held featuring talks from Dr. Christopher P. Monterola and Dr. Kenneth Harigan-Go. Dr. Monterola is the head of the Asian Institute of Management's Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ASITE), the Founding Executive Managing Director and Principal Scientist of the Analytics, Computing, and Complex Systems Laboratory (ACCeSs@AIM), and the Academic Program Director of the Ph.D. in Data Science program of AIM. Dr. Monterola’s talk, Tech Renaissance: AI Reshaping Education, Industries, and Society, shed light on the disruptive power of AI, along with the different ways AI could shape the future of the workplace. Dr. Monterola also presented demos on using AI applications, such as ChatGPT and FLIKI, to create written outputs and videos.

Dr. Christopher P. Monterola explains the disruptive power of AI, along with the different ways AI could shape the future of the workplace.

On the other hand, Dr. Hartigan-Go, is an adjunct faculty of the Asian Institute of Management, a Senior Fellow of the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government-Ateneo Policy Center, a Visiting Honorary Associate Professor of the National University of Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on COVAX No-Fault Compensation for Vaccine Injury. He is also a former Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General. In his talk on The Imperative for Health AI: Some Considerations in the Philippines, Dr. Hartigan-Go spoke about how medicine, healthcare, and AI intersect. He discussed how AI can be used as a tool to supplement human resources working in the healthcare industry and improve on aspects such as accuracy, problem solving, disease detection, and drug discovery, along with the implications of introducing AI in healthcare. 
An AI-Art Contest was also held, where students in the secondary and tertiary levels submitted AI-generated artwork following the theme Celebrating the Power of Artificial Intelligence. The winners of the AI-Art Contest were selected on the day of the event and were awarded with cash prizes and certificates. The artworks submitted were also displayed during the event. 

The Day of AI is a hybrid event which was live streamed via Zoom and the UP NISMED Facebook page. Participants from various sectors and industries attended the event both virtually and in-person at the UP NISMED Auditorium.