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Stories Asia

Harnessing the Power of Technology for Good

Technologies, such as AI, represent a powerful force for social good. We believe that access to better technologies, resources and expertise can empower people to help solve humanitarian issues and create a more sustainable and accessible world.

Advancing human rights and accessibility

To drive inclusive economic recovery and equal opportunities for organizations and people across the world, Microsoft is working with underserved communities and non-profits to offer solutions for positive impact.

Tech for Social Impact by Microsoft Philanthropies is an example of how we make cloud technology accessible and affordable for non-profits. During the COVID-19 period, an additional $35 million was committed to double our Microsoft Azure credits, increase our Windows benefits, and add new pro bono services to help critical care and first response non-profits.

Additionally, AI for Humanitarian Action supports non-profit and humanitarian organizations that work in disaster recovery, children’s issues, the protection of displaced people, and the promotion of human rights. The UN Human Rights Office used technology tools provided by Microsoft to piece together information on Sri Lanka‘s complex human rights landscape to gather and verify reports on alleged abuses through eyewitness accounts.

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has used Microsoft’s machine learning and computer visualization technologies to develop a sanitation solution from collected data. Its aim is to deliver cleaner living spaces, identify disease hotspots and mitigate the risk of epidemics.

AI for Accessibility is a program that amplifies the human capabilities of people around the world with disabilities. It has enabled engineers at the University of Sydney to accelerate their work on NeuroSyd, a system that can provide a greater degree of personal independence for people living with epilepsy. It allows them to manage the unpredictability of their condition with confidence, thus improving job prospects and even the ability to hold a driving license.

Safeguarding our earth for future generations

Protecting the environment is a key priority at Microsoft. We are addressing the world’s biggest long-term challenge, climate change, with a commitment to be carbon negative by 2030. We aim to cut our carbon emissions in half both directly and for the entire supply and value chain. This is supported by a US$1 billion climate innovation fund that includes accelerating the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies.

AI for Earth empowers partners with funding, open-source tools, models, infrastructure, data, and APIs to accelerate technology development for environmental sustainability. For example, our partnership with the indigenous rangers of Kakadu National Park and CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, is strengthening the indigenous stewardship of vital ecosystems and threatened species. Our joint efforts there are integrating responsible AI with traditional knowledge.

Across different aspects of social and environmental good, we strive to offer technologies and opportunities that can help us toward a better world, together.