Wednesday 23 October 2019

Microsoft unveils new $25m initiative to 'amplify human capabilities' for people with disabilities

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Microsoft is harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve the capabilities of people with disabilities.

The tech giant's new $25m five year 'AI for Accessibility' program follows the 'AI for Earth' initiative which uses the technology to advance sustainability.

According to Microsoft, the investment will similarly be spread across a number of grants and other technology investments in that specific area.

"The program is aimed at harnessing the power of AI to amplify human capabilities for more than 1 billion people around the world with disabilities," read an announcement from the company.

The details of AI for Accessibility were revealed at the firm's annual developer conference, Microsoft Build 2018, where a range of new tech was showcased for developers .

New innovations were announced that give these tech professionals the tools to tap into AI and multidevice, multisense experiences across the cloud and edge devices, in a rapidly changing industry.

"The era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge is upon us," said CEO Satya Nadella.

"These advancements create incredible developer opportunity and also come with a responsibility to ensure the technology we build is trusted and benefits all."

AI for Accessibility and AI for Earth, which rolled out late last year, are part of Microsoft's goal to place AI in as many hands as possible across the globe, potentially improving real-world issues.

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