Bridging the Digital Divide: DOST-ASTI energizes rural innovation during ‘Rambak Ti Siensya’ Caravan

16 Jan 2024 11:55 AM

Ilocos Sur, Philippines — In an effort to actively engage with and empower rural communities, DOST–Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) recently participated in the 'Rambak Ti Siensya' Science, Technology, and Innovation Caravan held in the Municipality of San Emilio, Ilocos Sur from 28-30 November 2023. 

Organized by DOST Provincial Science and Technology Office-Ilocos Sur, the three-day event brought together over 2,100 participants, including local government officials, educators, students, and key stakeholders from the agricultural and industrial sectors, to spur inclusive socio-economic growth and foster collaboration among various stakeholders in the municipality. 

DOST-ASTI, represented by Technical Specialists Jerome Dylan S. Villamater and Samuel Harrison P. Cerrudo, featured the agency’s groundbreaking initiatives aimed at catalyzing inclusive development in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. 

The Resilient Education Information Infrastructure for the New Normal (REIINN) Project took center stage, illustrating DOST-ASTI's commitment to supporting remote learning and enhancing connectivity in rural areas. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as LokaLTE and LokalFi, the initiative also introduced data-casting technology to broadcast educational content, addressing the digital divide in education. 

AI Engineer Samuel Harrison P. Cerrudo introduced Kooha, iTANONG, and ASTI-Automated Labeling Machine (ASTI-ALaM) projects. Kooha, a social network sensing mobile application designed to capture photos and smartphone sensor data, aims to empower users to generate big data for diverse applications. The iTANONG Project, a natural language interface to relational databases, aims to empower non-technical users to seamlessly access information, ensuring that valuable data is readily available to a broader audience. Furthermore, ASTI-ALaM aims to democratize the development of machine learning and computer vision applications through its model store, Decentralized Intelligent Model Exchange Repository. 

'Rambak Ti Siensya' served not only as a platform for DOST-ASTI to showcase its cutting-edge R&D projects and initiatives but also as a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing rural communities. This engagement aligns with DOST-ASTI's broader mission to tailor its initiatives to the specific needs and aspirations of regional communities, ensuring that science, technology, and innovation play a pivotal role in driving sustainable development at the grassroots level. By making these advanced technologies more accessible, DOST-ASTI envisions a future where rural communities can actively participate in and benefit from digital transformation.