New AI-powered knowledge hub to fuel social innovation | Microsoft On The Issues

New AI-powered knowledge hub to fuel social innovation | Microsoft On The Issues
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One of the defining aspects of COVID-19 is its disproportionate impact on underserved communities and the harsh spotlight it shines on existing social equity issues around the world. From access to quality education, jobs or affordable healthcare, COVID-19 is magnifying virtually every inequality in our communities.

Never has there been a more important time to capture the moment to create the solutions the world needs to make a positive and lasting contribution to the social inequity issues of our generation. Solutions will come from all corners and technology innovators will need to play their part.

Microsoft Video

In this environment of collective problem-solving, we need an easy way for developers to identify the greatest unmet needs, whether through cholera detection or COVID-19 treatments, where technology can play a critical role in helping address these challenges. Similarly, we need to map these social challenges to available funding sources and collaborators to fully understand the opportunities for solution creation…

X4Impact will help social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, citizen developers, funders and foundations identify where they can deploy their time and talent to collectively build a better world. Leveraging the power of AI, X4Impact aggregates content from hundreds of thousands of IRS 990 and 990-PF filings, private investing filings with the SEC and active grants from the federal government, foundations and private companies, in addition to content from over 5,000 trusted sources. The result is over 30 million units of knowledge indexed under the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and 231 impact indicators. With access to this market intelligence, we can collectively build much-needed solutions at a new level of scale and impact…

While the platform will launch this July, we call on tech trailblazers to join the public interest movement now by registering at to receive an invitation to demo the platform. This work builds on our current offers for all nonprofits and we recommend reviewing our COVID-19 Resource Guide for Nonprofits to learn about additional support.  At Microsoft, we are committed to learning how to better drive social innovation each day while evolving our social business model to help move nonprofit missions forward and drive social good.

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Solving the challenge of securing AI and machine learning systems | Microsoft on the Issues

Solving the challenge of securing AI and machine learning systems | Microsoft on the Issues

Today, in collaboration with Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center, we at Microsoft are publishing a series of materials we believe will contribute to solving a major challenge to securing artificial intelligence and machine learning systems. In short, there is no common terminology today to discuss security threats to these systems and methods to mitigate them, and we hope these new materials will provide baseline language that will enable the research community to better collaborate.

Here is why this challenge is so important to address. Artificial intelligence (AI) is already having an enormous and positive impact on healthcare, the environment, and a host of other societal needs. As these systems become increasingly important to our lives, it’s critical that when they fail that we understand how and why, whether it’s inherent design of a system or the result of an adversary. There have been hundreds of research papers dedicated to this topic, but inconsistent vocabulary from paper to paper has limited the usefulness of important research to data scientists, security engineers, incident responders and policymakers.

The centerpiece of the materials we’re publishing today is called “Failure Modes in Machine Learning,” which lays out the terminology we developed jointly with the Berkman Klein Center. It includes vocabulary that can be used to describe intentional failure caused by an adversary attempting to alter results or steal an algorithm as well as vocabulary for unintentional failures like a system that produces results that might be unsafe

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World Childhood Foundation marks 20 years with focus on AI and child safety online | Microsoft on the Issues

World Childhood Foundation marks 20 years with focus on AI and child safety online | Microsoft on the Issues

World Childhood Foundation, launched in 1999 by Queen Silvia of Sweden, recently marked 20 years of child protection with a roundtable on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse online.

The day-long event, held last month at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, brought together 60 AI experts, representatives from technology companies, child safety advocates, academics and others to explore new ways to combat the proliferation of child sexual exploitation and abuse imagery (CSEAI) online.

“How can we use AI as a catalyst for child safety online,” asked King Carl XVI Gustaf, who, along with Queen Silvia and other members of Sweden’s royal family, presided over the day’s discussions. “New approaches are needed, so we are bringing together some of the sharpest minds in AI and child protection to share knowledge and experiences.”

The event consisted of a series of presentations, panels and small-group discussions about raising awareness among the broader global population about the “epidemic” that is child sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as the misuse of technology to share illegal imagery and enable on-demand abuse of children tens of thousands of miles away. Experts shared experiences, ideas and data, including that reports of child sexual abuse videos to the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) had risen 541% in 2018 compared to the prior year. Moreover, children of all ages and backgrounds are susceptible to sexual exploitation with more than 56% of the children in Interpol’s database identified as prepubescent. “Nothing surprises us anymore,” said one law enforcement official

Learn more

To learn more about the World Childhood Foundation, visit the organization’s website. To learn what Microsoft is doing to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse online, see this link, and to learn more about digital safety generally, go to, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Microsoft upgrades Charlotte to a Smart City

Microsoft upgrades Charlotte to a Smart City

This is wonderful. Microsoft does have a decent-sized presence here, and I have been on their campus a few times as it’s on transit and across town. When I was in IT, Microsoft at the time was doing primarily Windows NT support locally. I couldn’t tell you what they are doing now because I’m out of IT

The announcement was made in what is now Camp North End, a series of industrial sites and distribution centers from BITD and also nearby.

This Wednesday Microsoft signed an agreement with Charlotte, North Carolina, to help upgrade the city’s technology to a Smart City. As part of the 3-year alliance, Microsoft will help the city gather data and analyse data and offer technology such as smart buses and smart lighting and allow public services to talk to one another and collaborate more easily.

“One way to make sure we are a city of the future is using data and analytics,” said Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones. “It’s a great opportunity for us.”…

from Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft

Microsoft + The Jackson Laboratory: Using AI to fight cancer

Microsoft + The Jackson Laboratory: Using AI to fight cancer
Microsoft/YouTube Video Screengrab

Biomedical researchers are embracing artificial intelligence to accelerate the implementation of cancer treatments that target patients’ specific genomic profiles, a type of precision medicine that in some cases is more effective than traditional chemotherapy and has fewer side effects.

Curating CKB

Mockus and her colleagues are using Microsoft’s machine reading technology to curate CKB, which stores structured information about genomic mutations that drive cancer, drugs that target cancer genes and the response of patients to those drugs.

Self supervision

To be successful, Poon and his team need to train machine learning models in such a way that they catch all the potentially relevant information – ensure there are no gaps in content – and, at the same time, weed out irrelevant information sufficiently to make the curation process more efficient.

The rest of the post is found at Microsoft + The Jackson Laboratory: Using AI to fight cancer via Tumblr and IFTTT

The Green New Deal from AJ+

Though I’ve been to Detroit in my younger years and still have family in the area, this also applies to the greater Charlotte area, where I live, and other communities throughout North America and beyond. I’m heartened to see a group address this, though getting through to some will be next to impossible. H/T AJ+, who does great work in their storytelling.

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold woes validate Microsoft’s Surface Andromeda caution a Certified Warditorial

The 2019 technology marketplace for platform vendors has evolved, and Microsoft has made headway with it. In the Nadella era, the phrase, “don’t buy anything MS until the 3rd try” is mostly a thing of the past. Could it be that Microsoft’s mobile strategy is counterpunch when others fall, such as Samsung? This is the most recent black eye for the company (remember the Galaxy Note 7?). Not that I could even think of affording one, but for $2000, it better work perfectly. That’s 2 Surface Pros plus a decent phone.

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was hit by early display issues and is now delayed — was Microsoft wise in not playing its foldable pocket PC Surface Andromeda card so soon?


Microsoft’s rumored Surface Andromeda pocket foldable PC is the dream device of many a Windows phone enthusiast. But the nightmare Samsung is enduring thanks to the early failures of its $2000 Galaxy Fold proves that some dreams are better deferred.


I have been writing about Microsoft’s inking focused pocket PC dreams since 2015. Skeptics, wary of Microsoft’s commitment to mobile initially dismissed this analysis. Over the years various leaks, Microsoft patents, the canceled Microsoft Courier and a leaked internal Microsoft email last year have confirmed not only Microsoft’s interest in pocketable folding mobile technology but its work toward bringing such an innovative device to market that “blurs the lines between mobile and PC.”


from Windows Central – News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.


First HoloLens application gets FDA approval for pre-operative planning | MSPoweruser

First HoloLens application gets FDA approval for pre-operative planning | MSPoweruser

Image: Novarad

The OpenSight Augmented Reality System is the first AR medical solution for Microsoft HoloLens cleared by the FDA receiving 510(k) clearance for use in pre-operative surgical planning.

OpenSight is intended to enable users to display, manipulate, and evaluate 2D, 3D, and 4D digital images acquired from CR, DX, CT, MR, and PT sources. It is intended to visualize 3D imaging holograms of the patient, on the patient, for pre-operative localization and pre-operative planning of surgical options. OpenSight is designed for use only with performance-tested hardware specified in the user documentation.

OpenSight is intended to enable users to segment previously acquired 3D datasets, overlay, and register these 3D segmented datasets with the same anatomy of the patient in order to support pre-operative analysis.

OpenSight is intended for use by trained healthcare professionals, including surgeons, radiologists, chiropractors, physicians, cardiologists, technologists, and medical educators. The device assists doctors to better understand the anatomy and pathology of the patient.

The OpenSight Augmented Reality system uses the Microsoft HoloLens hardware and the Microsoft 10 Operating System as the platform on which this system runs. The OpenSight technology is written specifically for this hardware.

(“Novarad OpenSight 510(k) Submission | 2018,” 2018, p. 5)

via First HoloLens application gets FDA approval for pre-operative planning
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FDA clears HoloLens for medical use in “pre-operative surgical planning” | On MSFT


OnMSFT credited story photo

I tried to wrap my head around 4D imaging; all it did was make my mind hurt at this hour.

The FDA cleared the Microsoft HoloLens for 510(k) clearance to the OpenSight Augmented Reality System. OpenSight is the first AR (augmented reality) application for use in “pre-operative surgical planning.” As outlined in a press release by Novarad, OpenSight uses 2D, 3D, and 4D images overlayed onto patients’ bodies to provide a visual guide on what doctors may encounter internally during surgery.

via FDA clears HoloLens for medical use in “pre-operative surgical planning” | On MSFT

PyCon UK 2018: My thoughts – including childcare review « Robin’s Blog

An overlooked aspect of conference attendance. Personally, I have no children, so it never crossed my mind. This is a start because Pythonistas have outside lives and families too!

via PyCon UK 2018: My thoughts – including childcare review « Robin’s Blog

HPE Discover: Exploring the Potential of Blockchain in IoT

courtesy of  the Internet of Things Institute

Blockchain may be the new “buzzword”; I believe it’s real, but can’t verify for myself as I don’t own any cryptocurrency, the current blockchain use type. The article calls it Blockchain 1.0.

I was taught to limit the use of 1.0 anything (I do make exceptions for Vivaldi!). Blockchain 2.0 is the enterprise and 3.0 is integrated with IoT, the main piece of this article.

Blockchain in IoT: The potential of the tech convergence depends on an organization’s willingness to support unprecedented collaboration with other companies.

Source: HPE Discover: Exploring the Potential of Blockchain in IoT

Regenerative bandage accelerates healing in diabetic wounds – Northwestern Now


Stained epidermis cells cultured on A5G81 (Credit: Northwestern University via

As a diabetic who have persistent wounds on my right leg, I can identify with any wrap or solution that can help my legs to grow and fluid to flow. For example below, this is a recent photograph of my right leg in a state of lymphedema.


My right leg as of 5/3/2018

The pink found in the picture is suggestive of healing skin with limited exudence (draining). This has been a condition I’ve lived with for the past 4 years.


Typical 3-Layer Wrap

A 3-Layer wrap, generally Abdominal Pad with Tritec™ Silver, Kerlix Gause, and Coban™ Wrap. Applied by Wound Care medical professionals with some specialized training, change at least weekly is required; more with excessive drainage.

Imagine a Hydrogel Dressing bandage that can replace the water with protein cells that have a mission to multiply and regenerate new skin. If a wider trial works, my leg prayers will have been answered.

Source: Regenerative bandage accelerates healing in diabetic wounds – Northwestern Now

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LibreOffice: Professional Typography Fully Arrives

Three decades ago, StarDivision, the ancestor of LibreOffice and OpenOffice, was designed as an intermediate desktop publisher. However, many LibreOffice improvements are designed for users who insist on using it like a typewriter and entering manual formatting…

Source: LibreOffice: Professional Typography Fully Arrives 

The current version is 

Are self-driving cars the future of mobility for disabled people?

file-20170918-24089-1jhnwatCATS Ride Transit, are you listening. Since you are subject to paratransit rising costs like all other agencies of its type, here is an opportunity to become a leader, not a follower, in this necessary research and study. Will have far more impact on the community than chasing the waterfall that is Amazon HQ 2.

Are self-driving cars the future of mobility for disabled people?

How Wi-Fi could get a boost from Li-Fi

I have previously written about this technology and haven’t got much of it lately until now. This time it’s being marketed as a compliment to 4G/5G and WiFi, not a replacement. What comes to mind is the “complementary” nature of Bluetooth and WiFi.  To explain from Wikipedia:

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio wavesin the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz[4]) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs) (“Bluetooth,” 2017)

As Bluetooth come to mind, the IEEE working group associated with this also sees LiFi as a Personal Area Network (“IEEE 802.15.13 Task Group,” 2017). For this technology to take off, the current usage of Compact Fluorescent Lamps would have to give way to LED light bulbs. The transition from Incandescent light bulbs isn’t fully complete so this could be a while, compounded by the current Administration and their views on such energy advances.

Source: How Wi-Fi could get a boost from Li-Fi

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Fast Neural Style | TensorFire

H/T to Serdar Yegulalp of Infoworld on this story.

from this: before_manu

to this: f6abc5cf-094d-43a0-823e-5ffda88af886.jpg

with just Javascript and a modern browser, such as Vivaldi 1.11 [chromium 59]

via Fast Neural Style | TensorFire

In Chrome 60, I used my local webcam: The results, 1st is the straight webcam outside the program, 2nd is the output.


merp (1).png

In Firefox 54, again the before (enlarged) and the after.

FF-FireShot Pro Screen Capture #007 - 'Fast Neural Style I TensorFire' - tenso_rs_demos_fast-neural-style


So as you can see, this works in multiple browsers. Edge is currently not one of them:


Another reason why Microsoft Edge isn’t happening. Also, the new Windows 10 S limits you to this browser, which can’t get the basics of JavaScript support right.

Follow-up on Convoy raises $62M from Bill Gates and other luminaries to transform trucking industry with technology – Geekwire

Pro Rata newsletter

Pro Rata update on blogged story from 07/24.

Pro Rata by Dan Primack on Axios

The second paragraph is important and not mentioned in the GeekWire report about empty driving; the industry term is dead-head miles. He estimates this to be 40%. I’m not sure where he gets that number, but it sounds high to me. A possibility could arise where in his part of the country, that figure for getting loads can be accurate, based on the relative lack of shippers and consignees compared to the California submarket and the Eastern half of the country {the rough diving line in the business is Interstate 35 from the Twin Cities to DFW}

As a rule, I tend to not put too much faith in the comment section of most websites that enable it, but something @caseyedwinson mentioned deserves merit.

Constant driver communication and training should help with the onboarding of new drivers. The newer tech savvy generation is starting to get behind the wheel more and more as the baby boomer drivers retire. They all have cell phones!

While this is definitely true, and especially Owner-Operators, of which this service is a primary target of, the proof will come down to something I thought previously unarticulated; will it enable a profitable load for the driver, not just the freight master?