Nursing students win ITU video pitch challenge with anti-information AI proposal

Six students in their third year from the UST College of Nursing won the Generation Connect Video Pitch Challenge organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for their anti-misinformation artificial intelligence (A.I.) proposal aptly named NARS, or the Nursing Assistance and Reinforcement System.

Trisha Mangahas, Stephen Marasigan, Qjiel Mariano, Ivan Martinez, Zysha Marquez, and Anne Novales formed their team “NeoFlorence” inspired by the mother of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

Armed with the knowledge on the current situation of misinformation and disinformation during the pandemic, the team proposed an A.I. 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, Team NeoFlorence will share their experiences at the Generation Connect Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June 2022, preceding the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC). 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 spread of fake news on the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on vaccine rollout. The team cites Nursing Informatics, a course they completed in their second year, as a pivotal factor in understanding the importance of emerging technologies and the Nursing profession.

The ITU is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies. One of their initiatives is Generation Connect. The global initiative 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 young people 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 ITU’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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