Digital civility at lowest level in 4 years, new Microsoft research shows | Microsoft on the Issues

Digital civility at lowest level in 4 years, new Microsoft research shows | Microsoft on the Issues

The Microsoft Digital Civility Index (DCI), a measure of the tone and tenor of online interactions as reported by consumers in 25 countries, stands at its lowest level since the survey began. Findings are being released in conjunction with international Safer Internet Day, February 11.

Microsoft’s Digital Civility Index stands at 70%, the highest reading of perceived online incivility since the survey began in 2016, and the first time the DCI has reached the 70th percentile. Moreover, the equally troubling trends of emotional and psychological pain ­– and negative consequences that follow online-risk exposure – both also increased significantly. Results are from “Civility, Safety and Interactions Online – 2019,” which gauged teens’ and adults’ perceptions about online life and their exposure to 21[1] online risks across four categories: reputational, behavioral, sexual and personal/intrusive. The index works like a golf score: The lower the index reading (on a scale from zero to 100), the lower respondents’ risk exposure and the higher the perceived level of online civility among people in that country.

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Accessibility with the new Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge Logo Image
Microsoft Edge (Chromium)

What’s new in Microsoft Edge accessibility

We try to make browsing with assistive technologies as easy and intuitive as possible. Check out the accessibility enhancing features we’ve added in the new Microsoft Edge:

  • Microsoft Edge supports the Windows high contrast theme and improved text scaling.
  • The Windows Ease of Access features are now integrated to Microsoft Edge with closed captions and appearance enhancements.
  • You can navigate Microsoft Edge using the same keyboard shortcuts that you know from Windows. For the list of shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Edge.
  • Tooltips appear on keyboard focus and include keyboard shortcuts.
  • You can select text with your keyboard by turning on caret browsing (F7).
  • Menus now support underline access keys on Windows.

For more info on accessibility, refer to Accessibility features in Microsoft Edge.

Source: Accessibility with the new Microsoft Edge

Using AI to advance the health of people and communities around the world | Microsoft on the Issues

Using AI to advance the health of people and communities around the world | Microsoft on the Issues

The health of people and communities around the world has been improving over time. For example, the steep decline in child and maternal mortality is a key indicator of positive momentum.

However, progress has not been equal across the globe, and there is a great need to focus on societal issues such as reducing health inequity and improving access to care for underserved populations. While researchers work to unlock life-saving discoveries and develop new approaches to pressing health issues, advancements in technology can help accelerate and scale new solutions.

That is why we are launching AI for Health, a new $40 million, five-year program to empower researchers and organizations with AI to improve the health of people and communities around the world. The program is underpinned with a strong foundation of privacy, security and ethics, and was developed in collaboration with leading health experts who are driving important medical initiatives. AI for Health is the fifth Microsoft AI for Good program, a $165 million initiative to empower researchers, nonprofits and organizations with advanced technologies to help unlock solutions to the biggest challenges facing society today.

The AI for Health initiative will focus on three key areas:

  • Quest for discovery. Accelerating medical research to advance prevention, diagnoses and treatment of diseases
  • Global health insights. Increasing our shared understanding of mortality and longevity to protect against global health crises
  • Health equity. Reducing health inequity and improving access to care for underserved populations

AI for Health is a philanthropic initiative that complements our broader work in Microsoft Healthcare. Through AI for Health, we will support specific nonprofits and academic collaboration with Microsoft’s leading data scientists, access to best-in-class AI tools and cloud computing, and select cash grants.

I am honored to lead AI for Health as part of my mission at Microsoft to fuse AI and data to address the world’s greatest challenges. As a tech company, it is our responsibility to ensure that organizations working on the most pressing societal issues have access to our latest AI technology and the expertise of our technical talent.

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Phone calls in the Your Phone app now rolling out to regular Windows 10 users

Phone calls in the Your Phone app now rolling out to regular Windows 10 users

In December Microsoft rolled out the ability to make and receive phone calls via the Your Phone app to Windows Insiders. Now the feature is rolling out to regular Windows 10 users…

I just did this, and it works OK. I would eventually like to put in the always run taskbar, so it runs without notice. Not easy to do. I also want the same on my phone as well.

My comment from Flipboard where this was initially placed.

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Next Generation Washington: Our priorities for 2020 | Microsoft on the Issues

Next Generation Washington: Our priorities for 2020 | Microsoft on the Issues

As we’ve done in recent years, I’d like to share what we’re focused on for Washington State’s current legislative session, as well as share our reaction to one key November 2019 election result. As we’ve said in the past, we believe in the transparency that comes from publishing a preview of the positions we’ll be sharing with legislators as they work in Olympia.

As a company, Microsoft is committed to furthering policies that create new jobs, opportunities and innovations here in Washington State. With more than 50,000 Microsoft employees and their families calling Washington home, these goals and the outcome of the decisions made today aren’t abstract – they’re personal.

As we embark on a new year, we are more committed than ever to two chief objectives: 1. Ensuring Microsoft’s success contributes to the overall success of the state; and 2. Engaging with elected officials and our neighbors to find ways in which we can help improve the quality of life for everyone who lives or works here.

From the 2019 Election to the 2020 Legislative Session

  1. I-976
  2. Affordable housing
  3. Data privacy
  4. Facial recognition
  5. Broadband access
  6. Cascadia Innovation Corridor – High-speed rail

Looking through the joint lenses of economic opportunity and quality of life, we were disappointed in the passage of Initiative 976, which will eliminate billions of dollars of much-needed funding for major transportation projects, city-level street maintenance, transit services, ferries and state patrol services over the coming years. Microsoft was a major supporter of the diverse business-labor-environmental coalition that opposed this measure, and we continue to believe that investments in transportation infrastructure are critical for the vitality of our state in the years ahead.

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Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030 | Microsoft on the Issues

Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030 | Microsoft on the Issues

The scientific consensus is clear. The world confronts an urgent carbon problem. The carbon in our atmosphere has created a blanket of gas that traps heat and is changing the world’s climate. Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by 1 degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic.

Read about Microsoft’s commitment on the Official Microsoft Blog and at https://news.microsoft.com/climate/

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Code Jumper: Jumpstarting computer science interest in kids who are blind

Why didn’t I think of this. To represent code and actions based on tactile patterns is flat out genius.

The group went beyond my initial thoughts of a physical implementation of some tech akin to Scratch, a popular open source environment for primary school students to learn how to Code and think logically and sequentially. At the risk of a spoiler alert..

Research in Microsoft’s Project Torino leads to Code Jumper, which introduces kids who are blind and low vision to programming through a physical language.

Source: Code Jumper: Jumpstarting computer science interest in kids who are blind