The Record - Issue 17: Summer 2020

36 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om Delivering COV E R S TOR Y BY L I ND S AY J AME S Nations around the globe are rising to the challenge of Covid-19 by looking for innovative ways to connect and empower enterprise workforces, first-line responders and public sector services of every kind. Microsoft and its partners are playing a crucial role continuity O ur industry has been called upon to help address the world’s most acute needs through this crisis,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during his keynote speech at the virtual Microsoft Build 2020 event, which took place in May. “That’s been a point of light amidst this crisis… seeing developers come together with those on the frontlines.” Nadella went on to provide some of the most inspiring examples of the role that Microsoft technology has played. “At Johns Hopkins University, epidemiologists and software devel- opers created that canonical dashboard to track the spread of Covid-19,” he said. “Adaptive Biotechnologies is using that cloud compute and artificial intelligence (AI) to decode the immune system’s response to the virus. In the UK, a cross-section of manufacturers adjusted their production lines to build ventilators for the NHS, using mixed reality to guide workers through the process.” And this is just the start of Microsoft’s response effort. During his presentation at Build 2020 Peter Lee, Microsoft’s chief vice president for technology and research, spoke about the Covid-19 Health Bot – a conversational AI tool which allows healthcare organisations to deliver trusted and relevant healthcare services and information. The tool has now been deployed at over 1,500 healthcare sites in 23 countries around the world, and it’s helped over 32 million people self-assess their symptoms. “We’re also donating massive amounts of com- puting power to organisations like ImmunityBio, Folding@home, and great research groups around the world,” said Lee. “They all really amount to working together. No one organisa- tion, no one person is going to be able to beat this thing. It’s working together, developing new technologies together that is going to be neces- sary to overcome this crisis.” As well as having a direct impact on the front line, Microsoft has also played a fundamental role in supporting companies the world over who have had to facilitate remote working far faster than they ever could have imagined. in a crisis “