September 28, 2023

Microsoft APAC AI for Accessibility Hackathon 2023

Johanna Ahmad
Johanna Ahmad

JOHOR BAHRU, June 14 – The Faculty of Computing successfully organized the Microsoft APAC AI for Accessibility Hackathon 2023 in collaboration with Microsoft Malaysia.

The hackathon challenges tech enthusiasts to solve real-world accessibility challenges using Artificial Intelligence. It is an opportunity for participants to join Microsoft as innovators in accessibility, making our world more inclusive.

Briefings about the hackathon were given by Ms. Ivy (Acting Executive Director at Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled) and Ms. Daphne (Partner Tech Strategist, Microsoft) before the presentations began.

The hackathon was open to 250 students enrolled in the Computational Intelligence (CI) course this semester from the Bachelor of Computer Science (Software Engineering) and Bachelor of Computer Science (Graphics and Multimedia) programs.

Ten groups, comprising 50 students in total, were selected to present their proposals during the final stage on June 14, 2023.

The panel of judges for the hackathon included Mr. Mohamad Nabil Fikri bin Yahaya from UTMCITE, Ms. Ivy Pua (Acting Executive Director at Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled), Ms. Daphne Choong (Partner Tech Strategist, Microsoft), and Mr. Yugan Chithiraputhiran from Avanade.

Presentation from the Group A-Eye
Presentation from the Group FastAi

The winning teams were evaluated based on five criteria: consideration of users with disabilities, innovative solutions, technical proficiency, real-world impact, and presentation skills.

The students received guidance from their CI course lecturers as the proposal was integrated into their CI project assessment.

Four CI lecturers, Dr. Ruhaidah Samsudin, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Siti Zaiton Mohd Hashim, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Haza Nuzly Abdull Hamed, and Dr. Shafaatunnur Hasan, mentored the students.

All ten groups proposed solutions focusing on visual impairment, hearing disability, speech disability, and autism. The top three winners are:

First place – Group A-EYE; proposed an idea to help blind people detect objects in front of them.

Second place – Group FastAi; proposed an idea to empower children through AI-driven speech therapy.

Third place – Group AR Sign Learning; proposed augmented reality for inclusive sign language learning.

Exchange gift between Microsoft and Faculty of Computing UTM
Winners for first place from group A-Eye
Closing ceremony of Microsoft APAC AI for Accessibility Hackathon 2023

All groups had the opportunity to receive feedback and answer questions from the panel after their 10-minute presentations.

Winners will receive unique opportunities like mentorships from Microsoft leaders and our partners, “Meet the Experts” sessions on AI topics, career development guidance, and more.

Thanks to Pn Shida (Education Director), Daphne (Partner Tech Strategist, Microsoft), Delyn & Jyoti (Cloud Solution Architects) from Microsoft for their efforts to make this event happen.

Thanks also to Ivy (Acting Executive Director at Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled), Nabil (UTM XCITE), Yugan (Avanade), and Daphne (Partner Tech Strategist, Microsoft) for lending their expertise as judges for this hackathon.

Thanks again to Microsoft for its remarkable support in developing future-ready digital tech talents and to MDEC, especially En Nik Naharudin Mohd Nasir & team, for initiating the UTM-Microsoft collaboration.

It was truly a remarkable effort for an international competition, and appreciation goes out to all the FC admin staff who contributed their efforts throughout the hackathon.

Prepared by: Johanna Ahmad

Ts. Dr. Johanna Binti Ahmad is a senior lecturer from the Faculty of Computing, UTM.

Explore More