With Code Jumper, experts look to jumpstart computer science interest for kids who are blind

It’s a warm day in early June and a group of students have gathered in the IT classroom at New College Worcester to show off their coding skills. But instead of poking at tablet screens or typing into laptops, these students are taking out brightly colored plastic pods, connecting them together with thick white wires and then adjusting the pod’s buttons and knobs. These physical components will be used to create computer programs that can tell stories, make music and even crack jokes. The students at New College Worcester are…

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Companies should focus on AI ethics even if it hits profits, says Microsoft UK director

Companies must refuse to create artificial intelligence that is unethical and could harm humanity, even if it affects their profits, a senior director at Microsoft UK has said. Hugh Milward, Senior Director of Corporate, External and Legal Affairs, said businesses need to “draw a line” on what is acceptable when developing cutting-edge technology and understand their responsibilities. “Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done,” he told December’s Tech UK Digital Ethics Summit in London. The event heard from leading figures in business and government on…

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The BHF joins forces with Microsoft and the NHS to save thousands more lives from cardiac arrests

Thousands more lives could be saved from cardiac arrests, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between the NHS, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), and Microsoft. The new partnership aims to map all of the UK’s defibrillators, with a shared ambition for the life-saving devices to be made readily available for every out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The initiative is in response to shocking figures that show public access defibrillators are used in less than 3 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, significantly reducing the survival chances of tens of thousands of people every…

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Xbox Adaptive Controller welcomed by UK charities and gamers with disabilities

A new Xbox and Windows 10 controller that lets people with disabilities plug in the assistive aids they already own to play games has been welcomed by charities in the UK. The Xbox Adaptive Controller allows those with limited mobility to use their own buttons, joysticks and switches to mimic a standard controller, so they can play any videogame. This allows them to choose which assistive aid will make the character jump, run or shoot, for example, without relying on pressing specific buttons on the controller that came with the…

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Microsoft launch #MakeWhatsNext campaign on International Women’s Day

Microsoft

To mark International Women’s Day today, Microsoft has launched its #MakeWhatsNext campaign. The aim of the campaign is to encourage more girls to study science, maths, technology and engineering (STEM). Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President and Head of Microsoft Philanthropies said: “We are acutely aware of the need to close the gender gap in the technology industry, and in all STEM fields. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women currently hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. And, globally, only 16 percent of female students graduate from STEM…

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