25 AUGUST 2023 – PLDT Inc., Smart, MediaQuest Holdings, Cignal TV, and NTT DATA today announced their collaboration to offer a new experience for basketball fans from the Philippines and overseas who will watch the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 onsite in Manila: the unveiling of Pearl, the country’s first “Digital Human”.
The nearly half a million sports fans expected to gather at the FIBA tournament which runs from August 25 to September 10 can interact with Pearl, a conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) Avatar powered by Digital Human technology. She will be stationed at special kiosks at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Mall of Asia Arena.
Equipped with ChatGPT technology, as well as visual and sound sensors, Pearl can converse with sports fans in English and Filipino and answer their FIBA-related questions — such as how to get to their seats. She can also give people other useful information, including where they can get their snacks or recommended activities in Manila for tourists.
A first in Asia, Pearl is the latest in Digital Human technology. She combines speech recognition, machine learning, natural language processing, and conversational AI to connect with people.
Pearl speaks with visitors naturally, complete with detailed facial expressions. Fans who want to get updates on the games can simply ask Pearl, who can then tell them the latest game results, statistics, leaderboards, and upcoming matches.
Digital Human technology has been developed by NTT DATA, along with NTT Ltd. and NTT DATA Business Solutions, to promote Smart Solutions for fans to experience globally. These Smart Solutions combine creative communications with the latest advances in Internet of Things (IoT) technology and AI to create a unique experience for sports fans. The NTT Group has introduced Smart Solutions through various sporting events such as the Tour de France, IndyCar Series, and Major League Baseball.
In collaboration with Smart and PLDT, through its business-to-business arm, PLDT Enterprise, Mediaquest, Cignal, and the NTT Group have brought Smart Solutions to the Philippines just in time for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
“The NTT Group has been advocating Smart Solutions for sports for some time now, and we are happy to introduce it to the Philippines at this global event. We look forward to more collaborations with the PLDT Group and the Mediaquest Group as we develop more innovations,” said NTT DATA Executive Vice President, Noriyuki Kaya.
“We are thrilled at the chance to bring these next-generation technologies to Filipino basketball fans as we adapt more innovative and customer-centric digital solutions. We will learn from the interactions that the fans will have with Pearl, and we will continue to improve the live stadium experience for future events.”, said PLDT and Smart Communications President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio, who also serves as Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President.
“Aside from helping sports fans enjoy the FIBA games, Pearl gives them something more – a taste of the emerging digital future today. That’s why we are quite keen on bringing Smart Solutions to Philippine sports. This will bring the fan experience to new, higher levels.”, said Jane J. Basas, President and CEO of Mediaquest and Cignal.