SCAI header - photo a a group of women sitting on the floor working on their phones

Center for Societal impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI)

Positively impacting society through technology

Focus on deep collaborations that make large-scale impact on society

Microsoft Research India’s Center for Societal Impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI) is focused on creating, nurturing, validating, and deploying technologies that will have a large-scale impact on society. 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 provide our collaborators with access to researchers, technologies, expertise, and resources from Microsoft Research, as well as other groups within the company such as Microsoft for Startups. We aspire to identify graduation paths for our projects so they can become self-sustaining initiatives. The collaborations fall into two types those that originate:

  • From research projects within MSR and are deployed at scale with collaborators, and
  • With external collaborators to identify and develop solutions for problems.

Examples of our research in action

Since its inception in 2005, Microsoft Research India has conducted research in technologies that can empower underserved communities around the world through the Technology and Empowerment (TEM) group. This work has led to high-impact projects such as 99DOTS and Digital Green that have “graduated” into independent organizations that are achieving global scale and impact, as well as projects such as FarmBeats that have transitioned into new businesses for Microsoft. SCAI complements and builds on this long history of societal impact through technology.

Current collaborations

We work in collaboration with a host of organizations to leverage Microsoft Research technologies and expertise to design, develop, and validate a range of potentially viable solutions, including:

Safe and sustainable cities

Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety (HAMS) - man behind the wheel of a car

Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety (HAMS)

A driver training system that monitors the state of the driver and vehicle environment in order to make the roads safer

Communication network with multichannel omni channel of Oil and gas refinery at twilight - Petrochemical factory, Technology Smart City with Internet of Things concept

Dependable IoT (DIoT)

Low-cost air pollution sensors integrated with DIoT technology to ensure the integrity, accuracy, and fidelity of sensor data

Drive-by Air Pollution Sensing - taxis enabled with sensing devices

Drive-by Air Pollution Sensing

Retro-fitting Ola cabs with sensors to enable a wider collection of granular spatiotemporal pollution data across Delhi

Ludic Design - woman sitting on the floor with two children working on a project

Including and empowering the excluded

  • Ludic Design for Accessibility – In collaboration with Vision Empower, we are helping develop computational thinking among blind children through the approach of Ludic design.
  • Interactive Neural Machine Translation – We are collaborating with Pratham Books to develop an assisted translation system to help translate storybooks into multiple languages, enabling children from different vernacular backgrounds to read and learn from the storybooks. We have also been working with Translators Without Borders to enable English-Trigrinya translation as a part of Gamayun, a language equality initiative.
  • Learn2Earn – In collaboration with Voicedeck Technologies, we have been developing Learn2Earn, a program that reinforces education and rewards learning through financial incentives. The technology has been used to spread awareness regarding issues ranging from Forest Rights Act, to voter-awareness, to HIV/AIDS.
  • Project Karya – We have been working with Navana Tech and Karya Inc to collect speech data and create training datasets for 10 low-resource Indic languages.
Project Mishtu - group of people talking

Improving connectivity for the next billion

Project Mishtu – In collaboration with a media and a satellite partner, we have been developing a novel networking infrastructure to enable access to media content for communities in areas with low or no network connectivity.

a hand dropping a coin into a donation box

Improving efficacy of the philanthropic efforts

Project Vishrambh – In collaboration with Child Fund India, we have been working to create a platform that can help improve the overall efficacy and transparency within the philanthropic sector.

a woman meditating sitting with her eyes closed in a sunlit room

Wellness

Moments of Change – We have been working in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS) to develop an application to improve access to mental health care and services.

Opportunities

Our SCAI Fellow program exposes young, bright talent to real-world approaches to identifying, designing, and developing solutions at scale to address societal problems.

Please get in touch for more information or to explore potential collaboration opportunities.