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Microsoft Research & Economic Development investigates ways to make technology work

Instead of pushing the boundaries of technology itself, part of Kentaro Toyama’s new charter at Microsoft Research India lab was to investigate the intersection of technology and society with India as a test bed. “In my first trip to India, I visited a number of rural villages that had telecenter projects,” Toyama says. “I realized that as an industry we understood what we could do with technology, but we didn’t have the first clue about what it means to help a rural farmer living in a remote village. We needed people who by temperament and training were interested in understanding people’s daily lives in these economies, and how they might interact with technology.”

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