PLDT, Smart, Cignal TV, NTT Data, and MediaQuest Holdings announced their new collaboration and introduced the Philippines’ first-ever digital human “Pearl.”

From August 25 up to September 10, 2023, over 500,000 sports fans are expected to attend the FIBA events in the country. Fans can visit Pearl and see it in the flesh at special stations inside the Mall of Asia Arena and Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Pearl is a conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) avatar powered by ChatGPT. With its sound and visual sensors, Pearl can interact with sports fans and answer FIBA-related questions like how to find their seat, and where to find snacks. The digital human can also speak in both Tagalog and English.

See also: Pilipinas Live: a one-stop-shop app for local sporting events, interviews, behind-the-scenes content

To connect with people, Pearl uses a combination of natural language processing, speech recognition, machine learning, and conversational AI. Pearl can also update fans with the latest scores, standings, statistics, game results, leaderboards, and other FIBA-related developments.

The new digital human technology was developed by NTT Data to promote and let fans experience Smart Solutions. Previously, the NTT Group has showcased its Smart Solutions in sporting events like Tour de France, Major League Baseball, and IndyCar Series.

“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.

Through the partnership with PLDT and Smart’s B2B arm, MediaQuest, and Cignal, NTT Group’s Smart Solutions has arrived in the Philippines in time for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

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