Microsoft Research India launches centre for Societal impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI)

The centre will exert its focus on transitioning projects from lab to scale for real-word impact.

Microsoft Research India on Thursday announced the launch of centre for Societal impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI). Being a part of the Microsoft Research (MSR) Lab in Bengaluru, the centre will focus on creating and nurturing projects that can have real-world and large-scale societal impact.

Through SCAI, MSR India will collaborate with a number of partners in academia, the startup ecosystem, and the social sector, the company said. These collaborators will be provided with financial grants, access to world-class Microsoft researchers, technologies, as well as access to business insights from Microsoft for Startups.

Sriram Rajamani, MD of Microsoft Research India

Eric Horvitz, Technical fellow and director at Microsoft Research said,

"I am excited about the creation of the centre for Societal Impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence, and I am looking forward to the efforts and collaborations ahead. There are so many opportunities to leverage recent advances in cloud computing and AI technologies to address long-term societal challenges spanning multiple sectors and realms, including health and wellness, education, transportation, and agriculture."

Sriram Rajamani, Managing Director of Microsoft Research India, said,

"At MSR India, we have been conducting research in the ICTD space since our inception. We see SCAI as a natural evolution of this, and we will partner with like-minded collaborators to apply technology to solve some of the most pressing problems in today’s world. I am looking forward to truly impactful projects emerging from SCAI."

Microsoft is currently working with four organisations which were selected through a highly competitive RFP process - Respirer Living Sciences for a project focusing on urban air pollution; NIMHANS for a project on mental health; Pratham Books for assisted translation system, which enables children to read storybooks in multiple languages; Voicedeck Technologies for Learn2Earn, a programme which reinforces education and rewards learning through financial incentives.

In collaboration with Microsoft for Startups, SCAI is now working with Navana Tech, which focuses on building text-free, voice assisted technology and Three Wheels United, which enables scalable lending to clients in emerging markets through technology.

In the past, Microsoft Research India has created projects like 99 DOTS and Digital Green, which are now independent entities, addressing different societal issues.

(Edited by Megha Reddy)


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