Microsoft shows its good side
Since when did Microsoft become tech’s good guy? Clearly it helps not to be a Silicon Messiah, with MS now rolling out its AI for Accessibility initiative, a five-year, $25m five-year programme to empower people with disabilities using tools that support independence and productivity.
The company is throwing open its artificial intelligence platform, asking developers to come up with app ideas that help people with disabilities. The company will then identify the best of those app innovations and offer third parties additional MS AI tech support.
AI for Accessibility will focus on three areas:
• Employment – using AI to help people develop professional skills and influence workplace culture and inclusive hiring
• Modern life – by making software and devices smarter, and keeping them affordable, people gain independence to perform daily tasks and personalize tools for their unique needs
• Human connection – technology can create possibilities for all people, regardless of how they listen, speak, or write
MS points to existing apps such as Seeing AI, which describes people, text, and objects to describe the world to the low-vision community, and Microsoft Translator, which improves the accuracy of real-time captions for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.