Microsoft commits $25M over 5 years for new ‘AI for Accessibility’ initiative to help people with disabilities
BY NAT LEVY – GeekWire.com –
Microsoft is committing $25 million over five years to develop artificial intelligence-powered technologies to help people with disabilities.
The aim of the new program announced at the Microsoft Build developer conference in Seattle this week is to use AI to help people with disabilities deal with challenges in three key areas: employment, human connection and modern life. Microsoft said it will award seed grants of its technology to universities, developers, institutions and others; help scale promising ideas; and work with partners to incorporate more accessibility functions in their products.
Microsoft pointed to a few Microsoft apps that have already helped people with disabilities. Microsoft Translator has been an important investment for the company as it has sought to improve the ability of its AI to help people have conversations in different languages. Last year at Build, Microsoft introduced Seeing AI, an app that uses the smartphone camera to narrate what it’s seeing.