Microsoft has recently introduced its latest
artificial intelligence (AI) program, AI for Accessibility, which is a new five-year initiative with the objective of providing AI tools for developers to create intelligent solutions for people with disabilities.
The technology giant is investing
$25m in this latest advancement, which was officially announced recently during the Microsoft Build 2018 developers conference. The AI for Accessibility program will be run by
Jenny Lay-Flurrie, who serves as chief accessibility officer at Microsoft. The program will be built upon the existing success Microsoft’s accessibility team achieved over the previous three years, thanks to the effort of the developers and engineers at the company.
Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer, AI technology will be a
“game changer” for those with disabilities. He added that to date, there have already been impressive results of current AI technology applied in areas of helping people with disabilities use their computers to hear, see and reason.
Microsoft also hopes to come up with new tools to better support the AI work of developers across the globe.
Smith went on to explain the three-step process of how the new AI program will achieve this goal. Firstly, Microsoft will supply grants to developers, researchers, and inventors. The grants will be given an AI-first approach and focus on developing intelligent solutions to improve the work, life, and human connections for those with disabilities. Secondly, the company will pinpoint projects with the best potential and invest accordingly. Lastly, when the technology is ready to be incorporated into actual products, Microsoft will work together with its partners for its smooth incorporation into platform level services. This, they hope, will provide maximum accessibility of new AI innovations to developers all over the world.
During the Microsoft Build 2018 developers’ conference, Microsoft also introduced their own new set of new tools for developers to build better AI solutions. Among the solutions being worked on are visual recognition services, real-time transcription of speech to text, and predictive text functionality.
Some other new AI initiatives by the technology giant include the move to open source the
Azure loT Edge Runtime, which provides better control and transparency for edge applications while allowing developers to modify and debug AI code. Furthermore, by enabling Custom Vision to run on Azure loT Edge, more devices including industrial equipment and drones will be able to respond to actions efficiently and independently, without relying on the cloud. In fact, the successful drone company DJI will be partnering with Microsoft to create a
software development kit (SDK) to be used on Windows 10 computers. Microsoft’s Azure is also DJI’s preferred cloud provider for the company’s commercial drone as well as
software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.
Following the introduction of a variety of AI-powered projects and partnerships, Microsoft has proved its dedication towards adopting the vast potential of AI energy for the benefit of the wider population.
Feel free to contact our team at WM Reply today for some professional advice on how our products and services could be applied to improve the future of your business.