Monday, October 2, 2023

AI Hallucinations: Unmasking the Digital Phantoms

In a world increasingly governed by artificial intelligence (AI), the term "hallucination" isn't typically associated with technology. However, a recent study by Tidio delves deep into the world of AI hallucinations, shedding light on what people think of these digital specters and the potential risks they pose.

Understanding AI Hallucinations

AI hallucinations, often referred to as "AI-generated content," are outputs generated by AI models like GPT-3, which can produce text, images, and even audio. These outputs often mimic human-created content to an astonishing degree.

Tidio's study found that approximately 96% of internet users are aware of AI hallucinations, with an astonishing 86% having personally experienced them. This highlights the ubiquitous nature of AI-generated content in our digital lives.

The Perceived Risks

Despite the prevalence of AI hallucinations, concerns loom large. Around 93% of respondents in the study expressed a belief that these AI-generated outputs have the potential to harm users. This fear might be rooted in the ability of AI to create highly convincing, yet entirely fictional, narratives.

Placing Blame

When it comes to assigning blame for AI hallucinations, opinions vary. Only 27% of respondents held users responsible for the content generated, indicating a general understanding of AI's autonomous nature. In contrast, 22% believed governments were the culprits, suggesting concerns about AI being manipulated for political or propaganda purposes.

Seeking Solutions

The study also revealed a strong appetite for solutions. Nearly half (48%) of participants expressed a desire for improved user education on AI and AI hallucinations. This reflects the growing need for digital literacy and awareness of the capabilities and limitations of AI.

Additionally, 47% of respondents advocated for stronger regulations and guidelines for developers, signaling a call for ethical AI development and usage.

AI Hallucinations: A Closer Look

AI hallucinations have a complex history, rooted in the advancement of AI language models and generative neural networks. They can manifest in various forms, from realistic articles to fabricated stories, and even seemingly genuine social media posts.

Spotting AI hallucinations can be challenging, as they often imitate human-generated content seamlessly. However, certain giveaways, like the absence of reliable sources or excessive factual inaccuracies, can provide clues.

Prevention is Key: To safeguard against AI hallucinations, it's crucial to prioritize digital literacy, critical thinking, and fact-checking. Additionally, developers must exercise ethical AI practices and prioritize user safety.

As we navigate the digital landscape, AI hallucinations remind us of the evolving role AI plays in our lives. Awareness, education, and responsible AI development are essential steps toward ensuring that these digital phantoms do not become a source of harm but continue to enrich our digital experiences.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Smart leads in 5G data roaming in 81 destinations with 140 partners worldwide

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) continues to lead in 5G data roaming, serving customers in 81 destinations through its partnerships with 140 key operators around the world.

“As we expand our 5G roaming coverage through strong partnerships with key telco partners around the world, we hope to empower our global customers with fast 5G data roaming speeds from islands to cities, allowing them access to technology when it matters the most,” said Mitch Locsin, PLDT and Smart First Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International Business Groups.

Customers with Smart 5G SIMs and 5G-capable devices can enjoy live 5G roaming services in Aland Island, Albania, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Crete, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Northern Marianas, Norway, Oman, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, the Vatican, Vietnam, and Wales.


To subscribe, customers abroad simply need to open using their mobile browser, to choose the data plans that would best suit their roaming needs.


Strongest network for 5G in PH


In the Philippines, the PLDT Group has further expanded its total fiber footprint to over 1.1 million kilometers, consisting of over 231,000 kilometers of international fiber and over 885,000 kilometers of domestic fiber as of end-June 2023. This fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s mobile network, which covers around 97% of the population with 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G.


Smart has also made it easy and hassle-free for tourists who have 5G SIMs and 5G-capable devices to connect to Smart’s 5G network when they visit the country. “As the economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic, we want to make sure that international tourists can seamlessly connect to the Philippines’ fastest Smart mobile network when they use their 5G SIMs of our partner telcos whenever they visit the country, and use our network for their work, entertainment, and other connectivity needs,” said Joshua Montecillo, AVP and Head, Wireless Product Management of Enterprise Business.


Providing enhanced connectivity to roamers and tourists alike underscores PLDT's aspirational multi-year transformation, with elevating customer experience as one of the key priorities, as well as contributes to the Group’s endeavors to provide connectivity to all, and to anchor initiatives on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) particularly on SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

PLDT, Smart network enhancements boost internet quality in PH

Leading integrated telco network PLDT Inc (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) are further boosting the Philippines' digitalization aspirations, aiding the delivery of better connectivity and helping develop the country's digital infrastructure.

According to the latest Digital Quality of Life (DQL) Index 2023, the Philippines recorded improvements in terms of Internet Quality and Electronic Infrastructure, which are among the Index's pillars.

Currently, the Philippines ranks 21st in terms of Internet Quality, up from 45th in 2022, while in terms of Electronic Infrastructure, the country ranks 54th, up from 65th the previous year. Overall, the Philippines ranks 60th out of 121 countries in terms of DQL.

"We continue to optimize and fortify our network as we strive to keep families connected, enable businesses of all sizes, power the government's e-governance initiatives, and ultimately narrow the digital divide," said PLDT and Smart Network Head Eric Santiago.

For their efforts at improving their integrated fixed and wireless networks, PLDT and Smart have been consistently cited by third-party analytics firms for delivering top-notch broadband and wireless services in the Philippines.


PLDT recently achieved a five-peat win as the fastest internet service provider in the country from global benchmarking company Ookla and is the only telco in the Philippines to achieve such a feat.


Smart has also been cited by Ookla as the Philippines’ Fastest and Best Mobile Network--the first and only Philippine mobile operator to earn this prestigious and rare citation for three consecutive reporting periods. Since 2019, Smart has also consistently received the Best in Test citation from independent benchmarking organization umlaut.


PLDT and Smart's network improvement initiatives are aligned with the Group's support for the Government's overall digitalization thrust as one of the founding members of the government-mandated Presidential Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) under the Digital Infrastructure Pillar, represented by its President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio.


They also boost PLDT's aspirational multi-year transformation, elevating customer experience as one of the key priorities, as well as contribute to the Group’s endeavors to help the country achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly SDG No. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

UnionBank first bank to run on The New AWS Local Zones in Philippines

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) has proven its reputation as a trailblazer in the industry anew by being the first bank in the Philippines to run workloads on Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) AWS Local Zones location in Manila, Philippines.

“This is a huge development in the AWS expansion in the Asian region and addresses response time issues for mission-critical applications that require low latency. This in turn allows service providers like us to deliver digital solutions to our customers much better,” said Ryan Acosta, UnionBank’s Head for Infrastructure and Service Management.

As the Philippines’ leading bank of innovation, UnionBank has been investing heavily in cloud-enabled solutions as part of its continuous efforts to serve customers better. In fact, UnionBank was the first major bank in the Philippines to be fully hosted in the cloud, completing its migration to AWS in 2022 and two weeks ahead of schedule.

The move to the cloud resulted in numerous improvements for the Bank’s various day-to-day operations, including reduced IT costs, the elimination of downtime and system lags, and improved backup and disaster recovery capabilities, just to name a few, in turn providing better services to customers.

And now, with the recent launch of AWS Local Zones in the country, UnionBank further solidifies its first-mover status in the Philippine banking space while enabling more meaningful and relevant customer experiences. This is in line with the Bank’s ‘Tech-Up’ Pilipinas advocacy that aims to empower Filipinos and contribute to nation-building through technology, innovation, and co-creation.

“True to its core value of innovation, UnionBank has once again become the first mover in this space, leveraging cloud technology to bring even more value to our customers,” said Dennis Omila, UnionBank’s Chief Technology and Operations Officer. “We have always been proud of being a company of industry firsts, and I’m confident that with the AWS Local Zones location in Manila, we will be able to do even more.”

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Globe At Home customers get first dibs to the all-new GFiber plan

Globe At Home elevates the digital experience of its customers with the launch of the ALL-NEW GFiber Plan this October. Moving beyond mere connectivity, this initiative embodies Globe's transformation from a traditional telco to a dynamic techco, aiming to enrich every facet of its customers' lives.

Existing Globe At Home subscribers get exclusive first dibs on the new GFiber Plan. Those who will upgrade their broadband plans from September 25 to October 8, 2023 will also be treated to Grab vouchers worth up to PHP500.

The new plan suite offers a well-curated family bundle that caters to the lifestyle and digital needs of each member of the family: entertainment for family bonding with Disney+, Prime Video, and HBO Go, a PHP1,000 Razer Gold gaming credits for the kids, and health access via KonsultaMD for the family.

Powered by the WiFi6 modem, the new GFiber Plan offers an unparalleled online experience, boasting faster speeds, the capacity to handle multiple devices, and enhanced security. The Globe Home Squad, a team of tech experts, will also provide a complimentary visit, guiding subscribers in realizing their dream intelligent home, from comprehensive connectivity to bespoke networks.

"Globe At Home strives to continuously evolve itself and bring our customers to a greater life together, at home. With the launch of these new plans, we hope for them to see that Globe is not just an internet provider but a lifestyle partner. We curated products with our customers in mind. We are there with our subscribers to help them live their lives, free to go after what they want. We also wanted to show our appreciation to those who have been with us by giving them a chance to avail of our plans earlier," said Raymond Policarpio, VP of Globe At Home.


Among the GFiber Plans powered by WiFi6 technology that existing customers can choose from are:


GFiber Plan 1799 with up to 200Mbps and Family bundle worth P7,000

● Disney+ annual premium plan

● 24/7 doctor consultations for the family via Konsulta MD

● PHP1,000 Razor Gold gaming credits


GFiber Plan 2699 with up to 600Mbps and Family bundle worth P13,000

● Annual Premium access to Disney+, Prime Video and HBO Go

● 24/7 doctor consultations for the family via Konsulta MD

● PHP1,000 Razor Gold gaming credits

● Complimentary visit from the Globe Home Squad


GFiber Plan 5999 with up to 1Gbps and Family bundle worth P19,000

● Annual Premium access to Disney+, Prime Video and HBO Go

● 24/7 doctor consultations for the family via Konsulta MD

● PHP1,000 Razor Gold gaming credits

● Complimentary visit from the Globe Home Squad

● Two (2) WiFi Mesh devices


GFiber Plan 7499 with up to 1.5Gbps and Family bundle worth P39,000

● Annual Premium access to Disney+, Prime Video and HBO Go

● 24/7 doctor consultations for the family via Konsulta MD

● PHP1,000 Razor Gold gaming credits

● Complimentary visit from the Globe Home Squad

● Three (3) WiFi Mesh devices and Fiber To the Room(FTTR) in select areas nationwide


GFiber Plan is an invitation to a life of shared experiences, enticing rewards, and cherished moments with loved ones. With Globe At Home, customers are not just getting a service, they are gaining a partner dedicated to steering them to effortless and unencumbered lives.


To upgrade, you can check out