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AI Helping Differently-abled to Become More Independent: Microsoft

The showcase will feature technology-based projects from non-profit organisations, assistive technologies developed by leading technology companies, Microsoft partners as well as Microsoft solutions, the company added

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions are empowering differently-abled people with tools that support independence and productivity, a top Microsoft executive said here on Friday.

The software giant last year launched its five-year, $25 million “AI for Accessibility” programme that harnesses the power of AI to amplify human capability for the more than one billion people around the world with a disability.

“At Microsoft, we believe there are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it,” Sriram Rajamani, Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, said on the inaugural day of the two-day “Accessibility Summit – Empowering for Inclusion” here.

Real time speech-to-text transcription, computer vision capabilities and predictive text functionality are just a few examples of how AI is useful to people with disabilities.

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Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office. Pixabay

Inaugurating the summit, Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities at the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, said that a strong public-private partnership can go a long way in empowering the differently-abled with equal access and opportunity.

Microsoft hosted the summit in collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf and National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEPD), a non-profit organisation.

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The two-day conference will also combine a rich mix of master classes and access to Microsoft’s “AI for Accessibility” resources for the developer community with a showcase of inclusive technology, Microsoft said.

The showcase will feature technology-based projects from non-profit organisations, assistive technologies developed by leading technology companies, Microsoft partners as well as Microsoft solutions, the company added. (IANS)

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Microsoft to Increase Skype Group Members to 50

These features have been made available for beta testers on all platforms and are likely roll out more broadly later.

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Microsoft is planning to increase the maximum number of people who could be part of a Skype group. Pixabay

Software giant Microsoft is planning to increase the maximum number of people who could be part of a Skype group call from 25 to 50 members.

With this update, Skype is also enabling the audio and video buttons in larger groups to let users easily mute their microphones or turn their webcams on or off as per their convenience, Engadget reported on Friday.

Keeping the call ringing feature completely optional, Skype Version 8.41.76.55 would notify users of an incoming call by just sending a notification on the group.

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Skype is also enabling the audio and video buttons in larger groups to let users easily mute their microphones or turn their webcams on or off as per their convenience. Wikimedia

“When you start a call in groups, it will send a notification instead of ringing all the members, to not interrupt those who can’t join,” the company wrote in a blog-post.

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These features have been made available for beta testers on all platforms and are likely roll out more broadly later. (IANS)