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Google Fortunetelling website creates awareness on refugee crisis

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source: http://ec.europa.eu/

It was since March 2011 that Syria has been slowly sinking into the turmoil of civil war. Millions have been rendered homeless in the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. The estimated number of the displaced is 11 million. A part of this population has fled to Europe and to other parts of the world, primarily to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

But they are not home.

Families have been separated and left to make perilous journeys without adequate resources. An entire generation of children has been irrevocably scarred with the ravages of war. They have no access to proper basic necessities, protection and education.

As the entire planet stands on shaky grounds with the epicenter of the Syrian crisis, we are staring at a big blank space regarding the collective future of humanity.

The Google fortunetelling website seems a fun thing to try out till you realise the true motive behind it.

Google 3

The link takes you to a Google lookalike page where you are asked to “Type here a question about your future” and hit the “Predict my future button”.

However, when you attempt to write anything, the page automatically writes “Where can I find a safe place?” in the search box. Among similar searches comes up questions such as “Will I be reunited with my family?” and “Is there a place where I can give my children a safe future?”

The website betagoogle.com, which is actually not connected to Google, was created to generate awareness on the condition of the Syrian refugees and makes us open our eyes to the fact that in a time when millions aren’t sure of their future, we click on a site thinking it will give some fun fortunetelling experience.

The site then takes us to a separate page and pleads us to “take a moment to think of their future” and do whatever little was possible for them.

google fortuneteller screenshot“With this project we want to create awareness. We need structural solutions on political level for this growing European problem. Please feel free to donate your time, money or love and spread the word,” the webpage reads.

The page gives us the options to share the campaign on Facebook and Twitter and also provides links to images and videos of refugees. You can even donate to charity or check out local initiatives on the issue.

A ‘crystal ball’ on the right shows the number of refugees increasing the more time you spend on the site to emphasize how horrifying the present situation is.

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Microsoft Introduces $40 mn Programme For Recovering Humanitarian Crisis

The company said it would collaborate with NGOs and humanitarian organisations to accelerate breakthrough solutions to help monitor, detect and prevent human rights abuses

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Cloud, gaming growth helps Microsoft log $29.1 bn in revenue. (Wikimedia commons)

Microsoft on Monday launched a new $40-million programme aimed at harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for disaster recovery, helping children, protecting refugees and displaced people and promoting respect for human rights.

The tech giant said it would execute the five-year programme by working deeply with select non-governmental and humanitarian organisations through grants, investment of technology and shared expertise.

Unveiled at the annual “Microsoft Ignite 2018” conference here, the programme called “AI for Humanitarian Action” is part of Microsoft’s “AI for Good initiative” that was launched in July last year.

“Today, in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly meeting, we are announcing AI for Humanitarian Action, a new $40-million dollar five-year Microsoft programme,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

“We believe that technology, like AI combined with Cloud technology, can be a game changer, helping save more lives, alleviate suffering and restore human dignity by changing the way frontline relief organisations anticipate, predict, and better target response efforts,” Smith added in a blog post.

Microsoft
A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

At the conference, Microsoft also released an array of security programmes and products.

Among them are “Microsoft Secure Score” — a dynamic report card that assesses Microsoft 365 customer environments and makes recommendations that can reduce breaches up to 30-fold — and “Microsoft Authenticator”, which helps make secure sign-on easier for workers with features like password-free login.

“In this era of the intelligent Cloud and intelligent edge, businesses in every industry are looking for a trusted partner to help them transform,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in his keynote address.

Also Read- Paytm is Testing ‘Face Login’ Feature, To Increase Security

“We are pushing the bounds in AI, edge computing and IoT (Internet of Things), while providing end-to-end security to empower every organisation to build its own digital capability and thrive in this new era,” Nadella added.

Microsoft said its “AI for Humanitarian Action” programme will accelerate the pace of innovation by managing strategic AI projects that demonstrate new applications, delivering reusable solutions and partnering with others to expand and scale initial projects.

AI can address humanitarian causes in myriad ways. For example, AI technologies like machine vision can quickly analyse images of roads damaged or destroyed by an event, making way for a faster and safer response, Smith explained.

microsoft
A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. Microsoft says it’s requiring its U.S. suppliers to offer their employees at least 12 weeks paid leave to care for a new child. The company announced the new parental leave policy Thursday. VOA

“In a new partnership with the World Bank, United Nations, and partners from the tech industry, relief organisations will be better able to predict when and where future famines will occur so aid can arrive earlier, potentially saving more lives,” the Microsoft President noted.

AI and Machine Learning (ML) also have the potential to improve the lives of approximately 68 million displaced people in the world, 28 million of whom are refugees.

“AI can help optimise the delivery of aid, supplies, and services to refugees and can scale NGOs’ efforts to communicate and understand displaced peoples’ needs,” Smith explained.

The company said it would collaborate with NGOs and humanitarian organisations to accelerate breakthrough solutions to help monitor, detect and prevent human rights abuses.

“We are hopeful the world will see what a compelling force for good AI can be when it’s used well in partnership with innovative NGOs. By ensuring technology fulfils its promise to address the broadest societal needs, we can empower everyone to achieve more,” Smith noted. (IANS)