Microsoft launches AI for Accessibility

Microsoft President Brad Smith announced the launch of AI for Accessibility, in his words, ‘a new $25 million, five-year program to put AI tools in the hands of developers to accelerate the development of accessible and intelligent AI solutions to benefit the 1 billion-plus people with disabilities around the world’. Smith said that Microsoft seeks to remedy the current situation that only one in 10 people with disabilities has access to needed assistive technologies. Commenting on the launch, c/net’s Ian Sherr used the examples of ‘apps that describe what people see, better text-to-speech technology and predictive text so people don’t have to type as much as technologies that are needed, as features for persons with disabilities come into the mainstream.