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Microsoft Partners With China Based DJI, World’s Largest Drone Company

Microsoft called on the thriving developers' community to build AI, Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) experiences while embracing Microsoft 365 platform.

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The computer-assisted facial recognition can recognise people's faces from a photo or through a camera.
The computer-assisted facial recognition can recognise people's faces from a photo or through a camera. Pixabay
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Microsoft has announced a unique partnership with China-based DJI — the world’s biggest drone company — where DJI will create a new software development kit (SDK) for Windows 10 PCs.

The SDK will bring full-flight control and real-time data transfer capabilities to over 700 million Windows 10 active devices globally, it was announced during the jam-packed “Build 2018” conference here on Monday, attended by over 6,000 developers.

“The era of the Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge is upon us. These advancements create incredible developer opportunity and also come with a responsibility to ensure the technology we build is trusted and benefits all,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the gathering.

DJI and Microsoft will co-develop solutions leveraging “Azure IOT Edge” and Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) services to enable new scenarios across agriculture, construction, public safety and more.

DJI also selected Microsoft Azure as a preferred Cloud provider to improve their commercial drone and Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) solutions.

Microsoft also announced a joint effort with chip-maker Qualcomm Technologies to create a vision AI developer kit running the “Azure IoT Edge” platform.

Developers can create solutions that use Azure Machine Learning (ML) services and take advantage of the hardware acceleration available via the Qualcomm “Vision Intelligence Platform” and Qualcomm “AI Engine”, the tech giant announced.

Microsoft called on the thriving developers’ community to build AI, Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) experiences while embracing Microsoft 365 platform.

Microsoft has announced a unique partnership with China-based DJI -- the world's biggest drone company -- where DJI will create a new software development kit (SDK) for Windows 10 PCs.
DJI is the world’s largest drone company, Pixabay

Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility+Security (EMS), delivering a complete and secure solution to empower employees.

“Microsoft 365 is where the world gets its best work done. With 135 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365 and nearly 700 million Windows 10 connected devices, Microsoft 365 helps developers reach people how and where they work,” said Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft.

Smart devices are proliferating, with more than 20 billion connected devices expected by 2020 globally.

To leverage this opportunity, the tech giant announced to open source its “Azure IOT Edge Runtime”, allowing customers to modify, debug and have more transparency and control for edge applications.

The company unveiled “Project Kinect for Azure” — a package of sensors, including a next-generation depth camera with onboard compute designed for AI on the “Edge”.

“Project Kinect for Azure” empowers new scenarios for developers working with ambient intelligence to dramatically improve insights and operations.

Also Read: Users of iPhone X Facing Problem Due to FaceID May Get a News Device

The company also announced “Speech Devices SDK” that delivers better audio processing from multi-channel sources for more accurate speech recognition, including noise cancellation, far-field voice and more.

With this, developers can build a variety of voice-enabled scenarios like drive-through ordering systems, in-car or in-home assistants, smart speakers, and other digital assistants.

The company demonstrated Mixed Reality (MR) capabilities to enable richer experiences that understand the context surrounding people. (IANS)

 

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Microsoft Calls for Facial Recognition Technology Rules Given ‘Potential for Abuse’

The only effective way to manage the use of technology by a government is for the government proactively to manage this use itself, the Microsoft President added

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The computer-assisted facial recognition can recognise people's faces from a photo or through a camera.
The computer-assisted facial recognition can recognise people's faces from a photo or through a camera. Pixabay

At a time when facial recognition technology is fast becoming a part of our lives, Microsoft has become the first tech giant to initiate a call for regulations to limit the technology that can be used for mass surveillance affecting civil liberties.

In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft President Brad Smith said a government initiative to regulate the proper use of facial recognition technology is the need of the hour.

“We believe US Congress should create a bipartisan expert commission to assess the best way to regulate the use of facial recognition technology in the US,” Smith said.

The purpose of such a commission “should include advice to Congress on what types of new laws and regulations are needed, as well as stronger practices to ensure proper congressional oversight of this technology across the executive branch”, the Microsoft President noted.

Several tech companies, including Microsoft, have utilised face-recognition technology in the past several years to turn time-consuming work to catalog photos into something both instantaneous and useful.

However, Microsoft has already rejected requests to deploy the technology in situations involving “human rights risks”, Smith informed.

Smith earlier called for a new digital Geneva Convention that commits governments to defending and protecting civilians from state-sponsored cyber-attacks.

“We live in a nation of laws, and the government needs to play an important role in regulating facial recognition technology.

“A world with vigorous regulation of products that are useful but potentially troubling is better than a world devoid of legal standards,” Smith suggested.

In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft President Brad Smith said a government initiative to regulate the proper use of facial recognition technology is the need of the hour.
In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft President Brad Smith said a government initiative to regulate the proper use of facial recognition technology is the need of the hour. Pixabay

The computer-assisted facial recognition can recognise people’s faces from a photo or through a camera.

This technology can catalog your photos, help reunite families or potentially be misused and abused by private companies and public authorities alike.

“Facial recognition technology raises issues that go to the heart of fundamental human rights protections like privacy and freedom of expression,” Smith wrote.

In recent weeks, a group of Amazon employees objected to its contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), while reiterating concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology.

IT company Salesforce’s employees have raised the same issues related to immigration authorities and these agencies’ use of their products.

Also Read: Microsoft Team is Now Available to Use for Free

“Demands increasingly are surfacing for tech companies to limit the way government agencies use facial recognition and other technology,” Smith said.

The only effective way to manage the use of technology by a government is for the government proactively to manage this use itself, the Microsoft President added.

Issues relating to facial recognition go well beyond the borders of the US and “it requires active engagement by governments, academics, tech companies and civil society internationally”.

“As we move forward, we’re committed to establishing a transparent set of principles for facial recognition technology that we will share with the public,” Smith informed. (IANS)