Pinoy students win in Global 2022 Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior

Team HACKRR from the National University in Laguna recently won in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Junior (ICJ) AI for Good Challenge 2022, where several teams of junior and senior high school students from across the Philippines participated to develop solutions for real-world challenges.

Members of Team HACKRR pose

Using a suite of applications provided by Microsoft and mentorship from Microsoft learning partner Hacktiv Colab, Team HACKRR became one of the ten global winners of ICJ 2022. Their project, WTFact, is an AI-enabled plug-in for Microsoft Edge that detects and warns users against misinformation and fake news on the internet.

The AI warns users of potential disordered information on media images and texts.

Clarissa Segismundo, Microsoft Philippines education programs head said, “the issues we face today as a global community belong not only to professionals in the workforce, but to the youth as well. Likewise, the capacity to solve them is just as much in their hands as anyone else’s. That truth comes alive year on year through this competition and the incredible innovations that our participants create — reaffirming our commitment to continue being their partners and enablers as they empower tomorrow for our country.”

Since ICJ’s introduction in 2019, thousands of students have responded to the challenge of harnessing AI to solve the world’s most pressing issues.

“One problem here in the Philippines is fake news. It’s now more critical than ever for the public to have access to safe and reliable information, especially about public health, and politics,” said Carl Joshua Cabase from Team HACKRR.

Ranked second place in the Philippines was Asia Pacific College’s Team AgrikultuRAM, for their AI project that uses image recognition to detect, combat and mitigate pest infestations on banana crops — helping maximize crop yield and lessen food loss.

Another team from NU Laguna, Team Polyglot, placed third for an application that translates natural disaster text advisories to the users’ chosen language. It aims to spread awareness, increase preparedness and reach more people in rural areas where internet access is not readily available.

Over 13 teams from the Philippines, composed of students aged 13 to 18 years old participated in Imagine Cup Junior 2022. Other global winners include teams from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Vietnam.

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