Microsoft has just announced that they will be committing $25 million to the development of technology that can make life easier for the disabled.
The tech company announced their “AI For Accessibility” initiative during their annual developer conference in Seattle on Monday.
“By innovating for people with disabilities, we are innovating for us all,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith about the program. “By ensuring that technology fulfills its promise to address the broadest societal needs, we can empower everyone — not just individuals with disabilities — to achieve more.”
Over the course of the next five years, the finances will be invested in inclusively accessible products that are designed by Microsoft and their partnering companies. The money will also be doled out in the form of seed grants to innovators, universities, and designers who are developing promising components that align with the project’s goals.
The initiative takes special interest in specifically harnessing AI technology to help the disabled, similarly to how it is utilized in real-time text-to-speech programs and predictive-text capabilities.
“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.”
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