Technology and Empowerment (TEM) is a research umbrella at Microsoft Research India. We build and study socio-technical systems that seek to have a meaningful impact on the daily lives of underserved people and communities. Our interdisciplinary team includes technologists, social scientists, linguists and designers, united in a passion for how technology can genuinely empower otherwise marginalized populations. Over the years, we have worked across a number of domains, including health, education, language technologies, accessibility, social media and society, future of work, road safety, sustainability, financial inclusion, agriculture, and more.
We embrace a range of methodologies in the work that we do. We use qualitative methods to understand people and context in resource-constrained settings, including their interaction with new and emerging technologies. We design, build and deploy novel systems, using a human-centered design approach that values frugal innovation over technology-centric approaches. We utilize analytical methods to describe and evaluate technology in context, for example, to characterize emergent trends on social media or to measure the impact of our interventions on end users.
Our work often relies on partnerships with NGOs, startups and government organizations to deploy and evaluate our solutions in the real world. Though our presence in India offers a powerful context for our research, much of our work has also seen broad applicability in other parts of the world.
The TEM research area is closely related to the SCAI center. Research in TEM often leads to prototypes, pilots, and exploratory studies. As projects become more mature, they often draw upon SCAI to synergize scale-up activities. We invite you to click on other tabs to explore the people, projects, and publications that are associated with TEM and SCAI.