Looking back: 8 popular pieces from 2019

Companies that create technology must accept more responsibility in the future – this has been a defining theme of 2019 for Microsoft On the Issues. This year, we have brought you stories about important topics such as cybercrime, the moral conundrums raised by AI, tech’s relationship with inequality, accessible technology, sustainability and more.

As we bid farewell to 2019, here’s a look, in no particular order, at some of the year’s top stories.

Curbing illegal fishing with satellite data and AI

Around the world, one-third of all fish stocks are now overfished and are no longer biologically sustainable, according to the United Nations. A nonprofit organization called OceanMind wants to do something about that, with the help of a Microsoft AI for Earth grant and Azure’s cloud. It’s a great example of how AI is being used to protect the natural world.

Can AI help the animal kingdom?

Here’s how we’re helping Cornell track elephants in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and how the University of Alaska Fairbanks is using machine learning to help the great gray owl.

5 innovations making the world more inclusive

Microsoft brings together people from different parts of the company at its yearly Ability Summit at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. The summit, designed to empower all people – including the more than one billion people with disabilities  has been a place for accessibility innovation. I2015 it helped give way to the Xbox Adaptive Controller.   In this story, we looked closely at the controller and other recent technologies with inclusive design. 

‘We are at a crossroads’ – How Microsoft’s Accessibility team is making an impact that will be felt for generations

Anne Taylor, Director of Supportability in Microsoft’s Accessibility program, is passionate about closing the accessibility gap. Technology can be a powerful tool in helping people with disabilities access opportunities both economically and socially. However, there is still much to do, she says, in this interview.

Hacker movies with an echo of truth

Films about hackers and cyberattacks have been popular for decades. These movies helped create the image of the hacker genius. You may think Hollywood depictions of hacking – such as “Sneakers” and “The Net” – bear no resemblance to real life, but in each of the films in the piece, there is an element of truth amid the fiction.

Then and now: Microsoft’s campus in 10 photos

Since 1986, Redmond has been home to the Microsoft campus. A lot has changed in the past 33 years. Back then, a gallon of gas would have set you back less than a dollar. This year saw the start of a major remodeling of the campus, so we decided to go through our photo album.

Microsoft and Princeton take Dreamers’ fight to the Supreme Court

Here’s how AI is helping secure water for your future

Millions of people face an uncertain future when it comes to their water supply. Cape Town, South Africa, and Chennai, India, are just two examples of major cities that faced dire water shortages this year. It’s a complex challenge and one that deserves a robust response. Microsoft’s AI and cloud tools are an important part of the fight for water security worldwide.

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