At the opening keynote for the 2018 edition of Build developer conference, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella has announced a new long-term program that aims to help people with disabilities throughout the world. As implied by its name, the initiative which is called AI for Accessibility is looking to harness the power of artificial intelligence in order to achieve this.
With a budget of USD 25 million (about RM 98.6 million), the program will take place for the next five years and will be delivered through several methods. One of them is through seed grants for developers that are looking into AI to build solutions that can help people with disabilities. These grants will also cover universities, nongovernmental conditions, and inventors as well.
Other than that, Microsoft will also support promising projects by providing access to the company’s engineers for consultation as well as its technologies. Not to forget, the company will continue to implement AI and inclusive design into its own products and services while working with its partners to further push the accessibility level of their offerings.
The AI for Accessibility initiative will first focus in three key areas that have big impact on people with disabilities including improving employment opportunities, smarter software and devices that are also more affordable. The program will also be on the look for more inclusive communication tools once Microsoft begin to accept applications for it this coming June.
The initiative is a rather interesting approach by Microsoft since it not only have the potential to further drive innovation with the AI and computing space but will also directly help more than 1 billion people with disabilities across the world. For more information on AI for Accessibility, head on to its official website right here.