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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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Here’s Why Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Believes That Artificial Intelligence Needs To Be Regulated

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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The Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stressed that "international alignment will be critical to making global standards work" on AI. Wikimedia Commons

Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it.

Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it”.

“Companies such as ours cannot just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone,” Pichai wrote.

According to CNET, the timing of the editorial coincides with a big push from Google to reveal some of the results of its own work in AI and bring tools it has developed out into the world.

The Alphabet CEO stressed that “international alignment will be critical to making global standards work” on AI.

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Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it. Wikimedia Commons

We need to take a “principled approach to applying AI, said the company, while offering Google’s “expertise, experience and tools.”

“We need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong,” he said.

His comments come as lawmakers and governments globally are considering to limit the use of AI in fields such as face recognition system – an issue close to Microsoft President Brad Smith’s heart who has often criticized the technology, urging governments to enact legislation regarding the technology.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” said Smith.

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned recently.

In his famous debate with former Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Musk entered into a lassic argument over the capabilities of emerging technologies like AI.

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Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Sundar Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times. Pixabay

Musk said that computers will one day surpass humans in “every single way”. He has predicted that a single company that develops “God-like super intelligence” might achieve world domination.

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If not regulated or controlled soon, AI could become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans, the SpaceX CEO had warned. (IANS)