Microsoft just announced that it will provide $25million for the development of technologies that can make life easier for people with disabilities. The initiative will use artificial intelligence to develop the technology. It has been dubbed ‘AI for Accessibility’ and will include grants for start-ups, non-profit organizations and academic research.
“By innovating for people with disabilities, we are innovating for us all,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith about the program. “By ensuring that technology fulfils its promise to address the broadest societal needs, we can empower everyone — not just individuals with disabilities — to achieve more.”
The finances will be used over the course of the next 5 years to be invested in accessible products that are designed by Microsoft and their partnering companies. The initiative takes a special interest in specifically harnessing AI technology, similarly to how it is utilized in real-time text-to-speech programs and predictive-text capabilities.
Microsoft president, Brad Smith said that they plan to address a variety of disabilities including; blindness, deafness, autism or dyslexia. He said that the help could either be permanent or temporary.
“AI can be a game changer for people with disabilities,” said Smith. “By making AI solutions more widely available, we believe technology can have a broad impact on this important community.” #Rewordit