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Transform Asia

The people, vision, organizations, sectors, and technologies reshaping our fast- growing region.

AI takes on ocean trash: Cleaning up the world’s beaches with the help of data 

It starts in 2005: Camden Howitt is surfing off Puerto Escondido on Mexico’s coast when, suddenly, a floating diaper smacks him in the face. He paddles back to shore in disgust, only to stumble upon a discarded toilet seat lying on the sand. When Howitt returns home to New Zealand half a world away, his heart sinks when he sees how much trash is also washing up on its geographically isolated, and once pristine, 15,000-kilometer coastline. His mission became clear: He would dedicate his life to protecting paradise. His company Sustainable Coastlines turned to an AI-powered tool that can capture and categorize beach litter, better determining where to place their efforts.

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Natural disasters and artificial intelligence: A better chance to save lives

Natural disasters and AI: A better chance to save lives 

With the help of a grant from Microsoft’s AI for Earth program, researchers like Bai Yanbing of Tohoku University are attempting to harness the power of AI solutions to improve mapping technology so that relief workers might stand a better chance of saving more lives when the next earthquake hits.

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Artificial intelligence and road safety: A new eye on the highway 

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HoloLens ‘astounds’ workers on Toyota’s factory floor in Japan

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Fishy business: Putting AI to work in crocodile-infested waters

Identifying and counting fish species in the murky waters of Australia’s Darwin Harbor has been tough, laborious, and dangerous. So, researchers have devised an artificial intelligence solution that has incredible potential for marine science around the world.

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AI steps up to the plate: Transforming the business of sports photography

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Digital transformation for nonprofits: The business of doing good with data

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China’s Xiaoice mixes AI with emotions and wins over millions of fans

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AI in the operating theater: Technology transforms cosmetic surgery in Korea

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AI for Earth: Helping save the planet with data science

Wee Hyong Tok is a data scientist. He has a passion for numbers, a faith in technology – and a mission that might make a superhero think twice. For more than a year now, he has been leading an elite global research team for AI for Earth – a five-year, US$50 million Microsoft initiative that supports, and partners with, environmental groups and researchers. They are tackling some of the world’s most intractable problems by marshaling the immense power of AI, machine learning, and the cloud.

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Why Anil Kumble wants AI to bat for cricket fans

Microsoft is working with Anil Kumble and Spektacom, to incubate and launch Power Bat, the sensor-based technology that provides players, coaches, commentators, fans and viewers with a unique way to engage with the sport and improve their game.

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MakeWhatsNext: Women in Asia Shape our Future

Anita, Bidushi, Felicia, Melisha, and Mikaela come from five different countries in Asia and share a common passion: improving life on Earth using science, tech and engineering. Let’s celebrate all things woman made.

Empathy Vision Model: AI that can see and talk with us about our world

Microsoft unveiled a smartphone app in Japan, featuring a combination of powerful new AI technologies allowing for enhanced sight, hearing, and speech capabilities for Rinna the chatbot to recognize and talk about objects it sees in ways that are similar to how a person would.

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AI and preventative healthcare: Diagnosis in a blink of an eye

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Next generation software engineers soaring high with AI

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AI and cargo shipping: Full speed ahead for global maritime trade

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High-tech help for a sushi and sashimi favorite in Japan

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Indoor vertical farming in Asia and beyond: Digging deep in data

When it comes to farming, Microsoft Researcher Ken Tran digs deep – not in dirt, but in data. He doesn’t drive a tractor and he doesn’t pull a plow. But he is helping to sow the seeds of a new type of agriculture – one that is nurtured by machine learning and artificial intelligence. And, it promises to revolutionize how communities across Asia and the world feed themselves.

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Technology, ethics and the law: Grappling with our AI-powered future

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Digital transformation in emerging Asian economies: Escaping the middle-income trap

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Technology and the sea: Autonomous ships and digital captains

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Mixed reality and medicine: Surgery with no surprises

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