Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based chatbot ‘Ruuh’ that has begun changing the lives of handloom weavers in India is something that will shape the future of technology, the company’s Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella has emphasised. ‘Ruuh’ has been built entirely by the research team in India.
“What’s incredible is that the team discovered how ‘Ruuh’ can help handloom weavers in rural communities create new economic opportunity by generating design patterns, inputting pictures and colours with the help of neural networks,” Nadella wrote on LinkedIn in a post titled “The people and projects that inspired me in 2017” late on Thursday.
By creating new designs, said Nadella, “they’re able to grow their markets and generate new revenue, helping to preserve this ancient art form and carry on a family business that spans generations”. Not just ‘Ruuh,’ social chatbots built by Microsoft have over 100 million users with 30 billion conversation sessions across five countries.
“Three years ago in China, our team built and introduced our first social chatbot called Xiaoice, which has the ability to chat in natural language, as well as create content ranging from art to poetry,” Nadella wrote. According to him, the stories of Microsoft teams and employees illustrate the intersection of personal passion in areas like health care, accessibility and education with new technologies – the Cloud, AI, Mixed Reality (MR) and quantum computing.
“An amazing collaboration – called Project Premonition – between Microsoft researcher Ethan Jackson, a team from Microsoft Research, the University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, University of California Riverside, and Vanderbilt University is utilizing the Microsoft Cloud and our AI platform to detect pathogens before they cause outbreaks.”
Their work turns the pesky-yet-dangerous mosquito into a powerful data source that detects the emergence of disease pathogens before they have a chance to infect others. “Using drones and machine learning algorithms like the SNAP alignment tool, they are helping public health organisations get the data they need with a more time and labour-efficient means of collecting data from potential disease sources in the environment,” Nadella wrote.
Ranveer Chandra is the principal researcher behind FarmBeats, a data-driven farming project designed to help increase farm productivity and reduce costs. “In this case, data from low-cost sensors in soil and drones with machine learning algorithms work with farmers’ knowledge and intuition to help them gather and parse data about their farms – informing what, when, and where to plant in order to drive the highest-possible yields and reduce costs,” Nadella wrote.
Assistive technology like Seeing AI, Eye Control, Learning Tools and accessibility advancements for Office 365 help people with disabilities unlock their full potential. “This is true inclusion in action. I am so proud of our Office and Windows teams for pushing the bounds of what’s possible in order to help everyone unlock their full potential,” he added.