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Go behind the scenes of Microsoft’s Seeing AI app with Brad Smith

Go behind the scenes of Microsoft’s Seeing AI app with Brad Smith

How are today’s AI innovators building on the past? Microsoft President Brad Smith and Communications Director Carol Ann Browne traveled to Louis Braille’s childhood home in France to examine the history behind Braille’s centuries-old invention that made reading possible through touch. This recent journey, part of the Today in Technology series, ended at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA, with a demonstration of Seeing AI. The talking camera app, created for the blind and low vision community, “speaks what it sees,” says Anirudh Koul, a senior data scientist at Microsoft, and it uses the power of AI to make the visual world an auditory experience. Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility program will continue to invest in ways cutting-edge technology like this can be used to better the lives of people with disabilities. To go behind the scenes of Seeing AI, visit Today in Technology.

Nearly two years into Microsoft's Affordable Housing Initiative, it has become apparent that in order to close the affordable housing gap there needs to be fresh, innovative approaches to housing finance – in Washington and nationwide. Despite continued rapid growth in greater Seattle, the community is not providing enough housing that is affordable for people who live here – particularly low- and middle-income households. For example, between 2011 and 2019 jobs grew 24% while housing only grew 12%, and, while median household income increased by 34% median, housing prices increased by 78%. This challenge is compounded by the deep economic crisis of Covid-19, and the historical inequity faced by communities of color.

Microsoft announced a set of investments totaling $65 million (of the company's overall $750 million commitment) to help support the creation of more than 1,000 new affordable housing units for greater Seattle. To read more about the investments, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Two weeks ago, Russia secured a deal to build a naval base in Sudan, its first new military facility in Africa since the end of the Cold War. The accord is a major milestone in Moscow's wider push to regain influence, and income, on a continent where the Kremlin was once a major player.

But with the ideological and military contests of the Cold War long over, what is Moscow doing in Africa today?

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"China is angry. If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy." This was the message recently conveyed by a Chinese government official on the intensifying row with its Asia-Pacific neighbor, Australia.

China-Australia relations, steadily deteriorating in recent months over a range of political disputes, reached a new low this week when Beijing posted a doctored image on Twitter of an Australian soldier holding a knife to an Afghan child's throat. Beijing's decision to post the fake image at a hypersensitive time for Australia's military establishment was a deliberate political provocation: beat Canberra while it's down.

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19.4: The Lebanese economy, waylaid by financial and political crises on top of the pandemic, is set to contract by a crippling 19.4 percent this year, according to the World Bank. Next year things hardly get better, with a contraction of 13.2 percent coming in 2021.

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This Friday, December 4 at 12 noon EST, join GZERO Media for a virtual Town Hall, "Reasons for Hope: COVID and the Coming Year," presented in partnership with Eurasia Group and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Our panel will discuss the road ahead in the global response to the COVID crisis. Will there be more multilateral cooperation on issues like gender equality moving forward from the pandemic?

Register to receive the livestream link prior to the event: https://www.gzeromedia.com/townhall

Our moderator, CNBC health care correspondent Bertha Coombs, along with Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media, and Mark Suzman, CEO of the Gates Foundation, will speak with distinguished experts on three key issues:

Heidi Larson, Director, The Vaccine Confidence Project

  • How will COVID vaccines be distributed safely?

Minouche Shafik, Director of London School of Economics & Political Science

  • How has the pandemic disproportionately impacted women?

Madeleine Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management; former US Secretary of State

  • What is the opportunity for global cooperation emerging from this crisis, and what are the greatest political risks?
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Reasons for Hope: COVID and the Coming Year. Watch on Friday. Dec 4 2020 12 noon - 1 pm ET

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