MSR India’s new center for Societal impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI) focuses on creating, nurturing and deploying technologies that will have large scale impact on society. We have, since our lab’s inception, been conducting research in technologies that can help under served communities across the world through the Technologies for Emerging Markets (TEM) group. Over the years, we have had multiple high-impact projects, and have even “graduated” some of them out of the lab so as to achieve scale and wide impact. 99DOTS and Digital Green are examples of research projects that went on to become independent organizations that are focused on the widespread deployment of the technology developed at the lab.
Through SCAI, we shall engage with the community in new ways. The center is dedicated to establishing deep and impactful collaborations with academic groups, startups, NGOs and other organizations interested in positively impacting society through technology. We will provide financial grants to our collaborators in SCAI, and even more importantly, we will provide access to our researchers, technologies, and expertise from other groups within Microsoft, such as Microsoft for Startups. We hope to graduate projects in SCAI into self sustaining initiatives. We have also started an SCAI Fellow program that will provide real-life exposure to young, bright talent into ways to identify and address societal problems. We are currently working with four organizations 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 program which reinforces education and rewards learning through financial incentives.
SCAI, in collaboration with Microsoft for Startups, is also 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.
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