While consumers are still struggling to see the daily realities of artificial intelligence (A.I.) Microsoft is pushing ahead with the technology for other, more philanthropic uses. Today, Microsoft is announcing a new five-year $40 million-dollar initiative using A.I. to assist with "humanitarian crises caused by natural and man-made disasters, oppression and other emergencies."
The project is called AI for Humanitarian Action and it will "harness the power of AI to focus on four priorities – helping the world recover from disasters, addressing the needs of children, protecting refugees and displaced people, and promoting respect for human rights" according to a press release from Microsoft.
AI for Humanitarian Action is part of a more extensive $150 million-dollar five-year program called Microsoft's AI for Good, which includes the previously announced AI for Earth and AI for Accessibility initiatives.
Through a process, Microsoft works with select non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and humanitarian groups with allocations for "financial grants, technology investments and partnerships that combine our AI and data science know-how with these groups' core expertise."
While all of this may sound a bit squishy without firm examples, Microsoft did present an outline for four significant areas they seek to leverage A.I. solutions for humanitarian issues, including:
Needs of children
Refugees and displaced people
For Microsoft, A.I. is a very different concept than what consumers may have seen in the movies, but with intelligent computing infusing daily computing tasks (see Office), the future of data analysis – especially when it comes to helping people – is quickly becoming a reality.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
I watched it in person. The one comment he made that struck me was that we can't keep the benefits of AI to the few. It must be shared by all. In the current world we live in, good luck with that.
Maybe 10 something years ago, but now? I think, it's impractical for small teams or individuals to conduct their own AI development and research.
The most practically way for mankind to pull this off, is to let one guy do all the researches, and share that research with other (and people can give feedbacks to that particlar someone).
Kinda like GameEngine, Middleware or OS, if we all write our own machine codes... we human will achieve no advancement. I think it's cool for MS to open their AI api with others.
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