Closing the Gap

About 15 percent of the world’s population — more than 1 billion people — have a disability, ranging from temporary ailments to permanent impairments, according to the World Bank. Yet the World Health Organization reports that only one in 10 of those disabled people has access to assistive products that can help them interact better with the world around them. Microsoft announced at its annual Build conference in May that the company aims to develop tech to reach that underserved population and will invest $25 million in grants over five years to develop programs that will use artificial intelligence to assist those with disabilities. Source: Engadget

55%

In March, Norway’s electric vehicle market hit a new personal best: According to a report from CleanTechnica, completely electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars made up 37 percent of new car sales in March in the Scandinavian country, which, when combined with the number of plug-in hybrids sold, totals more than 55 percent of the vehicle market. While the U.S. also hit a record high for plug-in cars sales in March, CNN finds just 20 percent of Americans say they are likely to make their next new vehicle an electric one. Source: Treehugger.com

AI BS

Carnegie Mellon University has been called the best computer science school in the country by U.S. News and World Report and currently offers about a dozen artificial intelligence-related courses. But starting in fall 2018, the Pittsburgh college will offer what it says is the first of its kind in the nation: an undergraduate degree in AI. Courses will include math and computer science, as well as machine learning and neural networks so students will learn not only how to use AI tools, but also how to create new ones that will have real-world impact. Source: Venture Beat

Getting Carded

Thanks to a law passed in December, New York City policing is getting a little more transparent. Following an interaction with the police that does not result in an arrest, the Right to Know Act requires officers to give the citizen a business card that explains how they can acquire the officer’s body-cam footage of the incident. The card includes the officer’s name, rank and shield number, along with instructions for navigating the relevant NYPD website. The program is currently in a pilot with four precincts and will roll out citywide by the fall.  Source: CNN.com