By Rizal Raoul Reyes
Team Parakeet from the University of the Philippines (UP) was recently declared the grand champion in the fourth Accenture Technology Campus Challenge, whose edition this year sought to assist Filipino students who have developed the best artificial intelligence (AI) solution that can help improve human experience and interaction.
A separate special award, called the Technology Vision Award, was presented to Team AID from the University of San Carlos in Cebu.
Aside from Team Parakeet and Team AID, the other finalists are Perceptron, The Hidden Geeks, Spero, Savogue, Royal Loyal Royal, F5, Team ExCSelsius, Cisabeth, Novice, Team Brainsmart, ResponseAble, TEAM ATE and Capricioso 1.
In holding the school tourney, Accenture said it wants to ?immerse Filipino talent in emerging technologies and create a culture of innovation in the Philippines.?
Ambe Tierro, Accenture Technology Lead in the Philippines and Accenture Global AI Delivery and Capability Lead, said the annual competition is a manifestation of Accenture?s commitment to develop future talent and promote the adoption of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses to fuel the students? interest in new and emerging technologies. AI is regarded by the technology sector as the next big thing that will create a lot changes.
?Accenture is encouraging Filipino students to learn, use and apply innovative technologies and digital solutions, like AI, in ways that can help improve the way the world works and lives,? she said.
Tierro said Accenture received more than 150 entries from teams representing colleges and universities across the country.
From April to August 2017, the top 50 semi-finalists worked on their AI applications and learned how to effectively turn their ideas into reality through Design Thinking sessions and workshops conducted by their Accenture employee mentors. The Program the Future competition kicked off in March 2017.
The teams were narrowed down to the Top 15 for the final defense to win the coveted the Grand Champion title.
Aside from Tierro, judges in the competition were Ambe Tierro, Accenture Philippines managing director; Carlo Castro, Accenture Technology Managing Director; Carlos Antaran, Accenture Technology managing director; Samuel ?Chips? Guevarra, executive director, Philippine Development Foundation and Jay Fajardo, CEO, Launch Garage.
The grand champion won a total of P300,000 in cash (P250,000 for the winning team and P50,000 for the department/college) plus an all-expense paid trip to the Accenture Innovation Center in Bangalore, India.