Japanese firm eyes bringing AI tech to PH to identify emergencies in real-time

Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2023 10:06 PM

MANILA – A Japanese start-up company is looking into the possibility of bringing artificial intelligence technology to Philippine local government units and newsrooms to aid in quickly identifying emergencies as they happen.

In a learning session in Makati, Friday, Spectee Chief Operating Officer Satoshi Negoro said their technology allows users to “visualize a crisis in real time” to be able to respond and cover disasters and emergencies.

Through the use of AI, Spectee identifies posts on various social networking sites such as X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Tiktok, among others, to identify any crisis. Such identification uses natural language and image analysis and can be as detailed as to where a specific crisis or emergency is taking place.

“During disaster time, the first step is to know what is happening and where. It’s very difficult for the LGUs to know that. The value of the Spectee Pro is to know what is happening right now and which location,” he said.

Given the nature of social media and its challenges, including misinformation and fake accounts, the user-generated content it gathers goes through several layers of analysis both from machines and a team of human checkers.

Once it is able to verify authenticity, it sends an alert to computers which emergency teams can respond to. At the same time, it acts as a source of real-time events which newsrooms can immediately gather.

Negoro said the use of AI makes the dissemination of disaster-related information much faster which in turn mitigates risks and saves more lives.

The technology is said to be used by over 100 government organizations, the private sector, and TV stations in Japan.


Spectee said the Philippines is the first overseas destination of their technology.

“Philippines is like Japan in the sense that it is a disaster-prone country. Filipinos also speak English and there are a lot of young people who are 'digital natives,'" he said.

Data show that more than 55 million Filipinos, around half of the country’s population, are aged 15 to 44 years old – the age within which Filipinos are most active on social media.

A representative of the Office of Civil Defense, who requested not to be identified, said they have seen the advantage of the system.

Prior to realizing the goal of bringing Spectee to the Philippines, Negoro said they are working on some possible challenges including optimizing data collection from Facebook as it is seen as the most widely used social media platform in the country.

He added that the planned launch of the disaster prevention and crisis management-focused technology is slated for launch in mid-2024.

“We need to develop the Spectee Pro for Philippine version so maybe it will need 6 months. we will start development and start providing services by mid-2024,” Negoro said.


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