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Xendit provides payment infrastructure across Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia and the Philippines. We process payments, power marketplaces, disburse payroll and loans, provide KYC solutions, prevent fraud, and help businesses grow exponentially. We serve our customers by providing a suite of world-class APIs, eCommerce platform integrations, and easy to use applications for individual entrepreneurs, SMEs, and enterprises alike. Our main focus is building the most advanced payment rails for Southeast Asia, with a clear goal in mind -- to make payments across in SEA simple, secure and easy for everyone. We serve thousands of businesses ranging from SMEs to multinational enterprises, and process millions of transactions monthly.

Sanas aims to convert one accent to another in real time for smoother customer service calls – TechCrunch


In the customer service industry, your accent dictates many aspects of your job. It shouldn't be the case that there's a "better" or "worse" accent, but in today's global economy (though who knows about tomorrow's) it's valuable to sound American or British. While many undergo accent neutralization training, Sanas is a startup with another approach (and a $5.5M seed round): using speech recognition and synthesis to change the speaker's accent in near real time. The company has trained a machine learning algorithm to quickly and locally (that is, without using the cloud) recognize a person's speech on one end and, on the other, output the same words with an accent chosen from a list or automatically detected from the other person's speech. It slots right into the OS's sound stack so it works out of the box with pretty much any audio or video calling tool. Right now the company is operating a pilot program with thousands of people in locations from the USA and UK to the Philippines, India, Latin America, and others.

Artificial Intelligence and automation seen to advance vaccine rollout in the Philippines


Bringing vaccines to all parts of the world is crucial in ending the COVID-19 pandemic, and this will begin by securing enough doses for everyone. But even if enough vaccines are procured, other problems arise such as storage and distribution. We all saw how personal protective equipment (PPE) was in short supply last year at the onset of the pandemic and we are now seeing vaccines facing similar logistical bottlenecks such as production backlogs and shipping constraints today. However, delays in vaccine distribution are much harder to deal with because of one major complication: the cold chain. Most vaccines are temperature sensitive and they require transportation in extremely chilled environments--from warehouses, vehicles to boxes and storage areas--to ensure that they don't perish before they're administered.

Artificial Intelligence Projects by UP, DLSU, Caraga launched by DOST Philippines


A total of nine Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and development (R&D) projects by the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin), De La Salle University (DLSU), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and Caraga State University (CarSU) were launched by the Philippines' Department of Science and Technology (DOST Philippines) in April 2021. The AI R&D projects ranging from applications in agriculture to the education sector were launched on April 8 by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) to spur growth in the AI industry in the Philippines. "AI is one of our priority areas as it truly can boost the country and usher us to the fourth industrial revolution. As a powerful agent for good, AI can disrupt traditional processes and provide solutions and opportunities that Filipinos can maximize," said DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit during the virtual launch. The Autonomous Societally Inspired Mission Oriented Vehicles (ASIMOV) Program, composed of two-component projects, will be implemented by DOST-ASTI and UPMin.

Syntiant – Always-On Voice AI Chips at The Edge


The ability for marketers to gauge intent these days is spooky. Performing a simple Google search for "hotels in Angeles City" while sitting in a cafe in Manila will suddenly surface "cheapest transport from Manila to Angeles City" ads in your Facebook stream. It knows you'll need cheap transport to get there so you can spend your money on other things. What you may find even more surprising is when you're talking to a mate on the phone about the carnal pleasures of Angeles City and suddenly STD test ads start appearing in your Twitter feed. Is your phone really listening to what you're saying?

Empathetic Robots Are Killing Off the World's Call-Center Industry


The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on the global call-center industry, and nowhere more than in the Philippines, the world leader in the field. Hundreds of thousands of employees in the former U.S. colony field queries from the other side of the planet, and for the past year many of them have had to work alone from home through the night, grappling with frequent electricity outages, isolation from friends, and the snores of parents, partners, siblings, or children crammed into tight quarters. What comes after Covid-19 is likely to be even worse. The lockdowns of the past year have accelerated the shift to greater automation in responding to inquiries to lenders, insurers, and telecom operators. And when they do connect with a human, it's more frequently in a chat window with someone who's engaged in multiple conversations at once.

Smart - Connected Women Partnership: Fast-Tracking Digital Fluency In The New Normal, Reinventing Jobs For Women


To help boost women empowerment in the new normal, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has partnered with social impact start-up Connected Women for technology upskilling and livelihood opportunities for women across the Philippines. With the goal of training over a thousand women by 2021, Connected Women's Elevate AIDA (Artificial Intelligence Data Annotation) program offers online skills development and remote work opportunities in the artificial intelligence industry. Backed by UN Women, the 75,000 member-strong organization launched to provide a talent pool for businesses worldwide while creating an impact for Filipino women and their families. Smart will support Connected Women's upskilling initiatives that include data labeling, remote work, professional communication, and computer skills, which are all scalable in the digital remote workspace. Participants will also benefit from career coaching, developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills and mentoring.

Invention that makes renewable energy from rotting veg wins James Dyson prize

The Guardian

A novel material made from rotting fruit and vegetables that absorbs stray UV light from the sun and converts it into renewable energy has landed its designer the first sustainability gong in this year's James Dyson awards. From a record 1,800 entries – despite the challenges of Covid-19 – the award was given to 27-year-old Carvey Ehren Maigue, a student at Mapúa University in the Philippines, for his Aureus system which uses the natural scientific principles behind the northern lights. The other top prize in the international competition has been handed to the inventor of a low-cost biomedical device that can be used at home to detect breast cancer, harnessing artificial intelligence to analyse urine. Aureus is made from crop waste and can be attached in panels to windows and walls. It allows high energy particles derived from fruit and vegetables to be absorbed by luminescent particles, which re-emit them as visible light.

In-Depth Analysis of Identification Documents Through Vision AI


After many years abroad, Juan finally had a good reason to go back home to Iloilo in the Philippines. His parents and wife are in the vibrant festival city, and staying with them is his only son Kiko. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit his workplace, and the country that has been hosting him for work has mandated that all foreigners be sent home and be on a work-from-home model. This was pronounced by the said country's government in the hope that it would help alleviate its already overburdened healthcare system. Three days before Juan flew back to the Philippines, Juan diligently filled-up what is called an Electronic Case Investigation Form, otherwise known as e-CIF.

Artificial intelligence is the future of how we work – author


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 29) – In this era of rapid digitization, every company in the Philippines must accept that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in office tasks will be more prevalent in the near future, an entrepreneur-turned-author advised. Maulik Parekh, author of the book "Futureproof your Company and Career," emphasized that AI has the ability to perform manual or physical office jobs which will be a game changer in the country's corporate landscape. "The future of career is artificial intelligence. To future-proof yourself in the world of artificial intelligence, you have to be the kind of human that AI cannot replicate," the Indian-born former CEO of business process outsourcing company Inspiro told CNN Philippines on Thursday. For instance, Parekh cited the use of popular video streaming app Netflix where AI is utilized in analyzing the user's viewing habits to provide show or movie suggestions that suit one's preferences.