SIX students in their third year from the University of Santo Tomas’ (UST) College of Nursing won the Generation Connect Video Pitch Challenge organized by the United Nations’ (UN) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for their anti-misinformation artificial intelligence (AI) ) proposal aptly named NARS, or the Nursing Assistance and Reinforcement System.
Trisha Mangahas, Stephen Marasigan, Qjiel Mariano, Ivan Martinez, Zysha Marquez, and Anne Novales named their team “NeoFlorence,” taking inspiration from Florence Nightingale, the “Mother of Modern Nursing.”
Armed with the knowledge on the current situation of misinformation and disinformation during the pandemic, the team proposed an AI to tailor-fit health information to the public. The team was mentored by Dr. Gian Carlo Torres and Dr. Sarah Maria Salazar, faculty members of the UST College of Nursing.
For winning the challenge, UST’s Team NeoFlorence will share their experiences at the Generation Connect Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2022, preceding the World Telecommunications Development Conference. Their winning video will also be presented to world leaders, innovators, and advocates in telecommunication all around the world in the said events.
Recalling the preparations for the pitch, the student nurses researched extensively on public health-situation reports, existing solutions, and timely innovations to address the alarming pandemic of fake news on the, especially on vaccine rollout. The team cites Nursing Information—a course they completed in their second year—as pivotal in understanding the importance of emerging technologies and the nursing profession.
The ITU is a specialized agency of the UN responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies. Generation Connect, one of the initiatives, aims to engage, empower and encourage the youth to stand as equal partners alongside the leaders of today’s digital change, equipping them with the skills and opportunities to advance their vision of a connected future.
According to the challenge, prompt Internet connection provides opportunities for the youth to access education, quality health care, and other necessities. Generation Connect, ITU’s youth strategy initiative, aims to improve the lives of young people around the world and ensure meaningful participation of the youth as key stakeholders in the latter’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.