• October 1, 2023

Basketball fans from around the world who will watch the FIBA Basketball World Cup onsite in Manila are in for a one-of-a-kind experience. They will have the opportunity to engage with Pearl, a conversational AI avatar powered by digital human technology.  

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, which teams are playing on a certain day, and game results.

She can also give fans other useful information, including where they can get their snacks or recommended activities in Manila for tourists.

She will be stationed at special kiosks at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Mall of Asia Arena.  

The country’s first ‘digital human’ combines speech recognition, machine learning, natural language processing, and conversational AI to connect with people. She speaks with visitors naturally, complete with detailed facial expressions. 

From left: PLDT CEO Al Panlilio, NTT Data CEO Kaz Nishihata, and MediaQuest and Cignal TV CEO Jane Basas

Pearl is the result of a landmark collaboration between PLDT Inc., Smart, MediaQuest Holdings, Cignal TV, and NTT DATA to bring smart solutions to the Philippines in time for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. 

Digital human technology was 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.

“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. 

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