Model Westminster visits Skype: Comment Piece.

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Model Westminster visits Skype: Comment Piece.

The following article was written by Katie Williams who accompanied Model Westminster on our visit to Skype UK offices in London:

Microsoft opened its doors to Model Westminster last week as a group of #MWDigital winners and A-level students from St. Marylebone School were welcomed to the Skype UK offices in London.

The aim of the day was to broaden the group’s insights into Microsoft, it’s role in Parliament and to encourage the younger members of the group to dig deep in their personal aspirations.

After a brief introduction, Dave Coplin, Microsoft’s Chief Envisioning Officer explained his theory for the future: the rise of the humans. In his view, technology should be invisible, as mindless as breathing, and should be switched off unless it adds value to the activity you are undertaking- quite an interesting standpoint from a man who’s job is in one of the largest tech companies in the world…

And although there were points where I think he contradicted himself, the basic message was one I could relate to; we aren’t good at multitasking, we shouldn’t have access to the worlds knowledge all the time and social media is making the world a lot less sociable. LINK TO: http://youtu.be/Z7dLU6fk9QY

We were introduced to small ways in which Microsoft wish to change this, one of which is to have real-time vocal translation on their video conferencing software, Skype. The idea: to speak English into your computer, and hear Spanish/ German/ French etc at the receiving end. Quite a feat, and in its beta stages at the moment.

The office was nice, and was the first look that some of our school visitors have had at the potential workplaces they could be heading for. After a game of table tennis (we had to!) they got the chance to hear from student interns and work on personal planning and development using the GROW technique.

I would like to thank Neil Prior and his team at Microsoft, as well as Ayath Ullah and the Model Westminster team for inviting me to attend this day and look forward to hearing more about digital developments in the near future!

 

Katie Williams.

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