[AI] Tech geniuses make pilgrimage to Microsoft
vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 2 22:53:44 EDT 2007
Tech geniuses make pilgrimage to Microsoft
Mohamed Radwan came from Egypt to Microsofts US
campus to show Bill Gates a way software can strip
away the stigma of being disabled.
Radwan, his sister, Noha, and fellow Cairo college
students Tarek Elgaaly and Ahmed Fathallah created
computer software that uses artificial intelligence
to customise school programs for those with mental or
I have a good friend and one day I found out he had a
brother who is handicapped, Radwan said of the
inspiration for the invention that put his team among
the finalists in this years Microsoft Imagine Cup
innovation contest. It was as though the family was
ashamed and kept him a secret. The Imagine Cup
theme this year is, Imagine a world where technology
enables a better education for all.
Read latest news at DNA
Ten of the teams that will vie in August at the
Imagine Cup finals in Seoul were at Microsofts US
headquarters on Tuesday, showing their work to the
giants legendary co-founder Bill Gates. Its a great
area and I completely agree with your vision, Gates
told Radwan and his team, which boldly suggested
that Microsoft more aggressively develop ways to make
computing easier for people with disabilities.
Gates and Microsoft chief research and strategy
officer Craig Mundie lingered at student
presentations, asking questions and trying programs.
nervous and excited, Byoung-Su Lin said as she and
fellow students from South Korea readied a program
that lets deaf and blind people read, write and
participate in classes.
The invention features a glove embedded with sensors
with software that translates Braille into and out of
text and speech. A team from China demonstrated
a program that links students in remote villages with
teachers, volunteers, research and other education
In front of you today are this generations
geniuses, Microsoft director of initiatives Joe
Wilson told news reporters at the demonstration event.
thought leaders of tomorrow.
French university students built a joy stick that
people with motor skill difficulties can use in lieu
of a computer mouse, while a team from Japan made
software to organise class notes and send feedback to
This is a fun event, Gates said. The point is to
show how the magic of software can do far more amazing
things than most people understand.
This is the fifth year for the Imagine Cup and it drew
entries from more than 5,800 teams from more than 100
Im always excited by the kids, said Mundie. This
is the Olympics of collegiate problem solving. Weve
upped the bar in recent years and they respond
The Imagine Cup victor gets a 25,000 dollar prize and
likely attention from investors looking to bankroll
promising new technology. Just that approving
look from Bill Gates is worth all of it, Mohamed
Radwan said. Its about much more than the Imagine
cup, Fathallah said. Its about changing the world.
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