The Philippines’ leading digital mobile wallet company GCash announced it has planted 1 million trees through GForest, its environmental sustainability feature on the GCash app.
Since GForest’s launch in 2019, more than 10 million users have joined the cause. As of December 19, 2021, a total of 1,060,000 trees have been planted virtually by GForest users, 1 million of which have been converted to actual trees planted in various locations. This is considered a huge feat for all those who actively participated in the program as they champion environmental stewardship, in fact, if the amount of carbon emissions that GForest users saved were combined, GCash has actually collected enough green energy to fuel over 25 trips around the Earth by plane!
“We are helping 55 million Filipinos go digital and cashless for more efficient and environmentally friendly transactions. Our environmental conservation and awareness efforts extend towards giving back further with GForest. This also doubles as a reward system influencing our users to practice more green habits,” said Martha Sazon, President and CEO of GCash.
GForest users earn green energy points by using the various cashless services of GCash, such as Send Money, Pay Bills, or Bank Transfer on the app – digital financial services that also lessen their carbon footprint, in addition to planting trees. GForest users can also collect green energy every time they walk if they enable GCash to access their health app or fitness tracker. These green energy points can be used to plant virtual trees. As of November 2021, more than 133 million digital, paperless transactions have been made in GCash to earn green energy points for GForest users. This is in line with the mission of GCash to support environmental sustainability by keeping individual carbon footprint low and helping fight climate change.
GCash executed several trailblazing GForest joint projects, including tree-planting partnerships with World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines, Ayala Land Inc., Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI), HOPE and Century Pacific Food, Inc, in critical areas such as the Ipo Watershed, Alaminos Carbon Forest, Luyang Watershed and South Cotabato and Sarangani Provinces.
Diverse species of trees like Narra, Yakal, Molave, Guyabano and Coconut have been planted in these vulnerable locations nationwide, through GForest and its partners. Aside from these designated areas, GCash is also identifying new sites that it can reforest as it scales up its sustainability program in the country.
Through GForest, GCash was also able to support and empower local farming communities. With the tree-planting activities of GCash, HOPE and Century Pacific Inc., more than 2,000 coconut farmers received coconut seedlings which can help them have more produce and in turn, increase their revenue. With GCash, RAFI also conducted tree growing orientations and planting trainings for 150 farmers in order to guide them on tree-planting projects. The initiative aims to achieve 1.3 million trees planted by 2022.
GCash is the only fintech company in the Philippines to have a sustainability feature integrated within its app, and has been recognized by global sustainability organizations. Recently, WWF Philippines conferred the Conservation Innovation Award to GCash. The leading mobile wallet company was also recognized by Miss Earth ECO Awards 2021 as well as BIOFIN for the environmental impact the campaign has created.
“Being a tech company, it puts us in a good position to really promote less carbon footprint,” adds Sazon. GForest is a concrete expression of the company’s ESG or environment, social and governance framework. GCash reiterates the importance of achieving financial results while ensuring we protect the environment, we take care of our people and the communities we operate in, as well as working closely with relevant stakeholders and governing bodies moving forward.
“The GForest program proves that marrying new technologies with creative sustainability solutions are something organizations can achieve. We thank our partners and users for making this milestone possible. We are looking forward to being more “One with the Nation” with our social responsibility initiatives in the years to come”, said Chito Maniago, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs of GCash.
“One with the Nation” is GCash’s corporate social responsibility program employing various initiatives including NGO partnerships, programs on disaster response and environmental stewardship, as well as grassroots finlit education campaigns nationwide.
Aside from GForest, GCash’s various digital products and services enable users to go cashless for various transactions, which helps reduce their carbon footprint and help fight climate change.
Continue to use GCash and become a “green hero” today!
For more information, visit www.gcash.com.
The threats of AI | Generative AI’s Impact on Skills
Increased awareness of Generative AI’s advantages has also posed a threat to skills development across the globe as observed by Monash University. Adapting to innovation is essential to academic institutions yet academic integrity is being challenged as generative AI such as ChatGPT and similar applications become more convenient to learners and educators.
In these early stages of the introduction of generative AI, acknowledging the challenges and rolling out an effective approach to how AI tools are used in students’ skills development and educators’ output assessment could better cultivate good education and a stronger foundation in the academe.
The threats of AI
Artificial Intelligence has the ability to produce content that’s superficially plausible but entirely incorrect. These outputs can thus leave users with a deeply mistaken picture of the world. Contrary to appearances, ChatGPT is not “trying” to assert facts about the world. Instead, it is (successfully) performing a different task – that of generating superficially plausible or convincing responses to a prompt.
Students can submit AI-generated school work without writing a single word themselves – or necessarily understanding the material they’re supposed to be tested on. The reliance on these AI tools will result in the erosion of important skills. If the writing process is outsourced to artificial intelligence, it’s a skill students might lose, not to mention comprehension and critical thinking skills are essential to remain competitive in the workforce. On the other hand, Generative AI will also become capable of tasks that many educators think of as central to their own profession. A non-profit education organization Khan Academy recently announced it will be launching a GPT-4 powered AI assistant, Khanmigo, which can play the role of a tutor to students and can also assist teachers with tasks such as creating lesson plans.
The Philippine government acknowledged that Filipino learners lack 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills among others. According to the Global Skills Report 2023 by Coursera, participating Filipino learners got 17 percent in communication skills, 7 percent in data science, especially in data analysis skills, and 7 percent in mathematical skills. The report shows that Filipinos lag behind their neighboring countries in terms of skills in business communication, mathematics, and data science, thus signaling a stronger call for academies and the government to invest and roll out effective approaches to AI-infused challenges.
Addressing the Challenges
ChatGPT is a valuable tool and worries regarding misinformation are valid. However, these issues can be best addressed by educating students on how to utilize these tools, recognize their limitations, and fact-check their output. Universities should be teaching students how to read critically, assess or corroborate facts, and discriminate between good and bad arguments through developing specific assessment tasks where students generate, analyze, and criticize AI outputs.
Designing assessments that engage with, and leverage, students’ interests could motivate learners to remain engaged such that they don’t see value in outsourcing the pursuit of their own knowledge to AI. This strategy may undercut some students’ desire to turn to AI, but it’s unlikely to fully dissolve the temptation to save time by relying on an AI particularly as it would not lower and might even raise the final grade.
Another strategy is to design AI-resistant written assessments where students are required to demonstrate their own understanding (independently of the written work they’ve submitted) or combine written essays with the presentation and discussion of their work during class time. This is modeled after the format of a viva presentation or thesis defense where students are required to understand and be able to communicate the ideas they’ve defended in their essay – regardless of whether they outsource any of the writing to an algorithm.
In an experiment by Monash University, they found that ChatGPT can generate convincing responses about major works in various disciplines. However, it fares very poorly when asked about the cutting edge of scholarly debate and is prone to “hallucinate” sources that don’t exist. Monash University recommends that educators, consider how to adapt their assessment regime in light of ChatGPT to ask themselves the following questions:
The immediate challenge for educators is to determine what an AI-literate skill set looks like, and how to evaluate whether students have these skills. If the academe can get this right, perhaps teaching and assessing the core skills of research, reflection, argument, and critical thinking that have traditionally sat at the heart of the university would lift academic integrity.
Monash University continues to adapt to the required innovations in order to maintain its educators’ and students’ global competitiveness. Read more about Monash University on their website.
Thom Browne Galaxy Z Fold5 Special Editions Philippines
New Thom Browne Editions for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and Galaxy Watch6 blend modern engineering and high fashion for a sophisticated look
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Thom Browne today announced the newest arrivals from their enduring partnership: the Galaxy Z Fold5 Thom Browne Edition. The offering brings together sartorial style and cutting-edge technology, demonstrating a tireless commitment to quality and design — along with additional accessories that bring a level of sophistication fit for a table at the most exclusive gala. This limited edition is as striking as it is inviting, with each piece featuring expert craftsmanship and premium details.
“Mobile technology is expected to provide more than just function – it’s an extension of our lifestyles,” Stephanie Choi, EVP & Head of Marketing of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics. “Our longstanding work with Thom Browne is rooted in a shared commitment to pair iconic style with advanced innovation and this collection is no exception.”
Bringing Black-Tie Elegance to the Galaxy Portfolio
The grandeur and luxury of a black-tie event serves as the inspiration for the Galaxy Z Fold5 Thom Browne Edition, which is instantly recognizable from a distance thanks to its iconic and delicate design details.
The special edition of the Galaxy Z Fold5 features both Samsung’s latest foldable technology and an homage to Thom Browne’s signature design elements with its black pebble leather and grosgrain details. The sleek exterior has been enhanced with a bevy of design elements: Thom Browne’s signature red, white and blue stripes; fabric texture etched on the back glass; an accentuating black frame and gold hinge; and gold rings around the camera lenses. The limited edition Galaxy Z Fold5 also comes with two distinct leather pouch cases and a special edition of the S Pen, a noteworthy addition.
“This continued collaboration with Samsung represents an evolution of what we’ve been creating together for years,” said Thom Browne. “Once again, we want to show that a perfect blend of top quality, innovative design and a classic aesthetic can become a powerful form of self-expression. I believe this Galaxy Z Fold5 Thom Browne Edition is the ultimate example of turning advanced technology into a bold statement.”
And the collaboration doesn’t end with just the product either: the packaging of the Galaxy Z Fold5 Thom Browne Edition boasts the iconic Thom Browne briefcase. Elevating the black-tie effect, the stylish packaging turns a typical unboxing into the upgraded experience of opening a briefcase, while also being designed for long-term use as a memento.
Included in this Thom Browne Edition, the Galaxy Watch6 epitomizes timeless style. Complete with the unique Thom Browne aesthetic, the design features a graceful gold-tone body, special complementary watch face, and the Thom Browne logo engraved on the side. Thom Browne’s red, white and blue colors have also been applied to the buckle, showcasing sophisticated attention to detail. This limited edition Galaxy Watch6 comes with two leather straps: one with black pebble leather and the other with red, white and blue striped leather. These colors are also used on the 25W travel adapter, the coin-style watch charger and an exclusive fabric USB-C to USB-C cable — all brimming with Thom Browne’s trademark influence.
In limited numbers, the Galaxy Z Fold5 and Galaxy Watch6 Thom Browne Edition will be available from September 12 in select markets including the Philippines. Sales will begin from September 12 on Samsung.com. For more details on the latest additions to the Thom Browne collection, please visit https://www.samsung.com/ph/explore/brand/thom-browne-edition/.
 Use an S Pen that is designed for Galaxy Z Fold. All other S Pens or stylus pens may damage the screen. Galaxy Z Fold5 does not have a built-in slot for the S Pen. S Pen support is limited to the Main Screen
Electronic Arts Sets out Vision for EA SPORTS FC™ and Reveals First Look at EA SPORTS FC™ 24 Gameplay
EA SPORTS Unveiled a Trinity of Technologies Including HyperMotionV*, the Introduction of Women’s Football to the Ultimate Team Pitch, and EA SPORTS FC’s First Ever Cover Star Erling Haaland
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today unveiled its first product under the new EA SPORTS FC™ brand, EA SPORTS FC24, launching worldwide on September 29th, 2023. During a global event in Amsterdam, the cover star was revealed as Manchester City striker, Erling Haaland, who put in a surprise appearance alongside fellow superstars from the World’s Game including Didier Drogba, Luis Figo, Laura Georges, Alex Scott and more. Announcements ranged from detailing three new cutting-edge technologies using real match data to deliver realistic in-game play and bringing men and women’s footballers together onto the same pitch in a world first for Ultimate Team™.
Electronic Arts debuted the EA SPORTS FC 24 gameplay trailer showcasing the ground-breaking realism delivered by HyperMotion V, which uses volumetric data from over 180 professional matches in the men’s and women’s game to deliver revolutionary true-to-football movement and animations.
“EA SPORTS has defined interactive football for 30 years, and now we’re bringing fans closer to the sport they love through EA SPORTS FC,” said Cam Weber, President of EA SPORTS. “This is the next great chapter in our mission to create the future of football with fans everywhere, and it begins with FC 24 delivering incredible authenticity combined with a massive leap in gameplay innovation. Welcome to the Club.”
“This is a massive moment,” David Jackson, VP of Brand, EA SPORTS FC said. “EA SPORTS FC is the world’s biggest football club, with a community of fans that already spans more than 150 million. Through an incredible product and services, globally resonant brand partnerships and investment in community-level football, FC 24 marks the start of our ambition to grow the love of football through our platform. There’s so much more to come.”
EA SPORTS FC™ 24 will be available to play on September 29, 2023 with early access through the Ultimate Edition available as of September 22, 2023. Pre-orders** are now available for EA SPORTS FC™ 24 which will launch on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Fans that pre-order the Ultimate Edition by August 22nd will receive a number of player benefits, including an untradeable UEFA Champions League Ultimate Team™ Hero item in November.
EA SPORTS FC™ 24 – Keynote Headlines
EA SPORTS FC™ 24 Takes In-Game Realism to the Next Level
EA SPORTS has changed the way people play and enjoy football, and new, cutting-edge technologies will see EA SPORTS FC™ 24 deliver unparalleled realism in every match. EA SPORTS FC™ 24 will include:
- HyperMotionV* is our biggest leap forward in realism to-date, translating the rhythm and fluidity of real-world football into The World’s Game using volumetric data from more than 180 professional men’s and women’s football matches that allows us to reflect real-world movement in-game more than ever before.
- PlayStyles optimised by Opta dimensionalises athletes, going beyond overall ratings to bring to life the on-pitch abilities that make players special. Each PlayStyle gives players unique capabilities you’ll see and feel that make their way of playing more authentic.
- An enhanced Frostbite™ Engine delivers The World’s Game in lifelike detail, bringing a new level of immersion through redesigned player models, smoother animations and visibly unique characteristics that make each player special. Kits now move like real-world materials, reacting to a player’s stride, shifting as they change direction, and flowing along with them as they play.
“Our mission is to bring fans even closer to the world’s game, and EA SPORTS FC™ 24 truly is the best iteration yet,” said Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM of EA SPORTS FC. “Over the last few decades, we’ve witnessed not only a seismic shift in how our community embraces football, but also a major evolution of how they engage and connect with our interactive experiences. EA SPORTS FC 24 leverages new gameplay technologies to build the most realistic expression of the beautiful game we’ve ever created.”
A World-First as Men’s and Women’s Football Comes Together on the Same Pitch
As part of a broader commitment to women’s football, EA SPORTS FC™ 24 will bring men and women’s football together to play on the same pitch for the first time. Players will be able to experience brand-new Ultimate Team™ features, including welcoming women footballers to the pitch for the first time in Ultimate Team™ for players to craft their dream XI.
“Celebrating sport for all is what continues to drive and inspire us,” said Andrea Hopelain, SVP of Brand, EA SPORTS. “That’s why we’re proud to announce the most inclusive and diverse iteration of the game so far. Whether it’s playing with the biggest player pool we’ve ever had in Ultimate Team™ or with new leagues like Liga F and the Google Pixel Frauen-Bundesliga, EA SPORTS is proud to champion the women’s game virtually and physically.”
Introducing the EA SPORTS FC™ 24 Cover Star
At the event, Manchester City and Norway striker, Erling Haaland, was unveiled as the EA SPORTS FC™ 24 cover star. After Haaland’s historic treble-winning season with Manchester City, including the record number of goals scored in a Premier League season, he stood out as the clear choice to herald a new era in EA SPORTS’s long history. EA SPORTS cover stars have always defined the peak of football talent – in real life and in-game – and Haaland’s phenomenal attributes across finishing, positioning and physicality are no exception.
“Every footballer dreams of being the cover star. I am proud to play a major role in the launch of the new era of the world’s leading football game in EA SPORTS FC,” said Erling Haaland. “The first time I held the cover in my hands, my immediate reaction was to think, just imagine if I could show this to myself 10 years ago. I hope that this can also inspire the next generation to believe in themselves to achieve their dreams. It’s an honour not only to be on this cover, but also the Ultimate Edition cover alongside my illustrious peers and legends of the world’s game such as Johan Cruyff, Pelé, Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldinho, Didier Drogba and many more.
An Authentic Football Experience
With authenticity and innovation at its core, EA SPORTS FC™24 showcases the best players from the biggest clubs, leagues, and competitions around the globe – in both the men’s and women’s game.
Having already confirmed that some of the world’s best competitions would feature in EA SPORTS FC™ – including LALIGA EA SPORTS, Bundesliga, Serie A and CONMEBOL Libertadores – EA SPORTS announced an exclusive renewal with UEFA, meaning EA SPORTS FC™ 24 is the only place you can play the iconic UEFA Champions League, UEFA Women’s Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League and UEFA Super Cup.
“It’s an exciting moment,” said Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director. “We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with EA SPORTS having both the Men’s and Women’s editions of UEFA club competitions included for players seeking the most authentic gaming experience ever. EA SPORTS FC plays a crucial role in the future of football engagement; we’re delighted to be collaborating on the journey.”
Additionally, EA SPORTS announced an exciting long-term renewal with the Premier League, historically the most popular league in game.
Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters said: “EA SPORTS™ are one of the Premier League’s longest-standing partners and together we have inspired generations of football players and fans. We are delighted to be part of EA SPORTS FC™ 24 and look forward to working on more exciting projects together in the years to come.”
Two additional women’s football leagues—the Google Pixel Frauen-Bundesliga and Liga F —are confirmed to feature in EA SPORTS FC™ 24, joining the Barclays Women’s Super League, the D1 Arkema, the National Women’s Soccer League and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
EA SPORTS FC™ 24 Founders Status
EA SPORTS announced Founders Status to celebrate the fans who join EA SPORTS FC™ at the start of a new era for The World’s Game. Fans who play EA SPORTS FC™ 24 by 1 November 2023 will become an FC Founder** and unlock benefits including an exclusive Founder badge and kit to represent their status for years to come. In addition, FC Founders will get access to a bunch of great Founders-only benefits throughout EA SPORTS FC™ 24 and beyond. Get ready to unlock the best EA SPORTS FC has to offer with this one-time chance to be there at the beginning and become an FC Founder.
EA Play*** members will receive early access to the game with a 10-hour trial beginning on September 22. EA Play Pro members will enjoy unlimited access to the EA Play Pro Edition** of the game – including Ultimate edition content – starting September 22. Lastly, all EA Play members will unlock additional bonuses for EA SPORTS FC™ 24, with monthly Draft Tokens in Ultimate Team™, seasonal Clubs Rewards, and seasonal VOLTA FOOTBALL™ APPAREL & COINS.
*HyperMotionV technology only available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC versions.
**Conditions & restrictions apply. See https://www.ea.com/games/ea-sports-fc/fc-24/game-offer-and-disclaimers for details.
***Conditions, limitations, and exclusions apply. See EA Play Terms for details.
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