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Microsoft’s Dublin office comes up with LED waterfall and digital lake

The building bears a lot of Dublin's influence -- the digital lake and "mountain" represent the bay and hills that border the building

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Microsoft does not offer free meals but subsidises the food.
Microsoft does not offer free meals but subsidises the food. Wikimedia Commons
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  • The new office is spread in sprawling 34,000 square metre campus
  • The office has it’s own has its own pizza kitchen, own coffee blend roasted on site and an in-house bakery
  • The campus has 3,000 seats spread across open-plan floors and smaller private areas where meetings or phone calls can be conducted

An LED waterfall, a digital lake, an indoor “mountain” and a “DreamSpace” for teaching the next generation about technology: This is what Microsoft’s new office “One Microsoft Place” in Dublin houses.

Now officially open, the 34,000 square metre campus has cost the company 1$165 million and would house nearly 2,000 staff — with data scientists, AI bot builders and mixed reality game developers sitting alongside sales and marketing staff — in Leopardstown, Irishtimes reported late on Thursday.

It was officially opened by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Peggy Johnson, Microsoft Executive Vice President, Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland and IDA Ireland Chief Executive Martin Shanahan.

Also Read: Microsoft Announces Indian Languages Support For e-mail Addresses

“The building is the physical manifestation of the cultural transformation we’ve been going through. It’s about pulling together the skills and talent and passion of staff to enable the mission of Microsoft,” Hallahan was quoted as saying.

The campus has 3,000 seats spread across open-plan floors and smaller private areas where meetings or phone calls can be conducted.

The building bears a lot of Dublin’s influence — the digital lake and “mountain” represent the bay and hills that border the building.

Each area is decorated differently, intended to reflect the 71 nationalities that are working in the Dublin office.

Also Read: Microsoft programme 2016-2017 features 238 Indian educators across the Country

The “neighbourhoods” created by the different areas are intended to encourage a new way of working for Microsoft employees. There are no official offices; executives sit in the same space as interns.

The building bears a lot of Dublin's influence -- the digital lake and "mountain" represent the bay and hills that border the building.
The building bears a lot of Dublin’s influence — the digital lake and “mountain” represent the bay and hills that border the building. Wikimedia Commons

It also has an on-site gym — where even the weights bear Microsoft Windows logos, treatment rooms for massages, a studio where yoga classes are run alongside mindfulness sessions, a music room and a podcast room.

Microsoft does not offer free meals but subsidises the food. It has its own pizza kitchen, own coffee blend roasted on site and an in-house bakery.

Also Read: Qualcomm, Microsoft offer ‘always connected’ PCs with smartphone features

The rainwater collected from the roof is used throughout the building, while spices and other food items are also grown here.

“DreamSpace” is the heart of the campus, an innovation and education hub that aims to host 100,000 primary and transition year students over the next four years and the tech giant intends to open it to the public in April. (IANS)

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Microsoft Wants Regulation For Facial Recognition Technology To Start in 2019

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology

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

Given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019, Microsoft President Brad Smith has said.

“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,” warned Smith in a blog post on Thursday.

“The time for action has arrived,” he said, adding that the industry must also exercise restraint while using this technology.

Speaking of the benefits of the technology, the Microsoft President mentioned that police in New Delhi recently trialled facial recognition technology and identified almost 3,000 missing children in four days.

Similarly, historians in the US have used the technology to identify the portraits of unknown soldiers in Civil War photographs taken in the 1860s.

Researchers successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans.

And in October, the National Australia Bank designed a proof of concept to enable customers to withdraw money from an Automatic Teller Machine using facial recognition and a PIN.

Microsoft
Regulation for facial recognition technology must start in 2019: Microsoft. Pixabay

But at the same time, the potential for abuse of this technology is huge, Smith said, adding that certain uses of this technology could lead to biased decisions and discrimination.

Moreover, the widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people’s privacy, he said.

“The use of facial recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms,” Smith added.

Also Read- Fujifilm Launches its Medium Format Mirrorless Camera in India

“While we believe that new laws and regulations are indispensable, we also recognise that they are not a substitute for the responsibility that needs to be exercised by tech companies,” he said.

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology.

The company, Smith said, would start adopting new principles to manage the issues surrounding facial recognition technology in the first quarter of 2019. (IANS)