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Artificial Intelligence

Looking to the future

For society to really embrace artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft sees practical application scenarios as absolutely crucial. The Redmond-based company is committed to harnessing the potential of AI to make it easier for people with disabilities to interact with their surroundings.

08 Nov. 2017

The continuing advances of artificial intelligence are sometimes met with public concern - but no one can really explain where this apprehension comes from. Clearly, fictional representations such as HAL 9000 and the various Terminator robots cannot be held responsible for everything. In fact, a recent study has shown that a quarter of people in Germany believe that AI applications will have a positive effect on society. As Microsoft sees it, developing practical application scenarios and transparent objectives is crucial to encouraging society as a whole to embrace artificial intelligence. After all, some 89 percent of those surveyed also said they believed that AI applications could make a real difference to people with disabilities.

"This shows how important it is to ensure that artificial intelligence is not developed behind closed doors," says Microsoft Manager Astrid Aupperle. Thomas Langkabel, National Technology Officer at Microsoft Deutschland, predicts that more than a billion people worldwide could benefit from barrier-free technology. Microsoft has therefore committed to taking accessibility into account from the start when developing all future productivity tools. For instance, one artificial intelligence solution that is already available to help people with visual impairments to navigate public spaces is the "Seeing AI" app. The app offers users with low vision a wide range of support options, including describing aloud what is currently happening in the surrounding area.


Microsoft Corporation (USA-Redmond, WA 98052-6399)