A Scottish company is exploitation Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology to help everyone deliver the perfect speech.

Estendio has been one-handed an AI for Accessibility grant by the technology firm to add more features to their app, Present Pal, which aims to improve how people give presentations.

Created by a student with learning disorder, the app guides users through their presentation with interactive flashcards, pop-up bubbles and colour overlays on their smartphone or tablet. It is besides fully compatible with PowerPoint, so presenters can access their notes and control their slides at the same time.

The company has now been awarded free acknowledgment for the cloud computing platform, Azure, as part of Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility programme. Present Pal will use these to develop the app further, so much as exploitation Speech Apis to compare practice recordings with time period speech to allow the program to recognise when a speaker is troubled to recall information. AI-powered audio prompts and visual pop-ups would then allow the presenter to get back on track.

Founder and chief executive Chris Hughes besides hopes the new developments could help people with learning difficulties and visual impairments.

“Technology has so much an important role to play in ensuring that people with disabilities are sceptered to communicate effortlessly,” he aforesaid. “The usage of AI/machine learning inside Present Pal will allow us to really understand the inevitably and behaviour of presenters, providing the information to assist and enhance communication skills in the terrific moments of presenting to your peers.”

According to research by Estendio, “delivering oral presentations” was the fourth biggest challenge for university students in the UK, with 82% of students experience sensitivity of anxiety, panic or stress when presenting.

“We are not yet supporting students with learning differences in universities crosswise the UK through our existing version of the app, but unfunded access to Microsoft’s AI tools will really boost the software’s intelligence and sophistication,” Hughes added. “We are delighted to receive this grant and begin working with Microsoft and are looking forward to sharing our journey of enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.”

AI for Accessibility is Microsoft’s $25 million, five-year programme aimed at exploitation the power of AI to help the more than one billion people around the world with disabilities. Grants are available to developers, non-governmental organisations, academics, researchers and inventors who are focused on portion people in three areas: Employment, Daily Life and Communication and Connection.

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