By 25 January 2019 | Categories: news


Following on from its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hackathon held at the tail end of 2018, Microsoft’s latest effort to bolster AI is a Make Your Wish initiative. Firstly, this should not to be confused with Make a Wish, which seeks to fulfil the dream of children who are critically ill. Rather Microsoft’s latest calls on individuals and organisations of all sizes in South Africa to share their ideas about the possibilities around the use of AI “to change the world.”

According to Microsoft, ‘Make Your Wish’ will act as a platform to bring ideas and imaginations together from bright minds on implementing AI and how it could help improve lives - and empower people and organisations to achieve more.

By way of offering impetus, the company elaborated that by simply making a wish, people with ideas that can be enabled through AI technology can stand a opportunity to not only be heard, but to bring real world impact.

Once a ‘wish’ has been identified, participants can submit their idea as to what they would like to see AI address. If this is selected, it will appear on a Wish List,  which the submitter’s colleagues, friends and family can support by voting for it. In the first quarter of 2019, a panel – whimsically called Wish Fulfillers – will review all the selected submissions to choose a selection of wishes to bring into fruition and implement.

In essence, it seems like the Make Your Wish is crowdsourcing AI ideas, with the reward being playing a part in having a positive impact in the world. It’s also a clever way of bringing people who aren’t developers into the AI sphere. That is certainly a novel approach, and a far cry from cutting edge projects being limited to the imagination of a few individuals behind closed doors.

Apart from those Wishes that do reach implementation, it would be interesting to see if there are standout themes that the majority of people are hoping AI delivers. For example, we wonder whether AI is hoped to make it easier for those with disabilities to engage the world around them, or improve healthcare, or deal with climate change.

If you do want to participate, you can Make Your Wish here.


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