Monday January 22, 2018

“Seeing AI” : An App by Microsoft Narrates the World Around Blind People

The Seeing AI application is the latest project from Microsoft using its artificial intelligence technology

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Seeing AI application for Blind
Seeing AI app narrates the scene around the blind people. Pixabay
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July 14, 2017: Microsoft has released a free iPhone app named Seeing AI, that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tell the blind what is around them. The application can describe how the scene looks like when pointed at the park. Likewise, it can tell the amount in your bill or narrate just about anything it is pointed at.

“With this intelligent camera app, just hold up your phone and hear information about the world around you,” Microsoft said. It aims to turn the “visual world into an emphatic experience.

The app recognises people that it has seen before and even their facial expression to tell how the person is feeling. Additionally, it can also scan barcodes, read US currency and read handwritten documents. It tells you to move your camera if needed for a better view.

Microsoft calls Seeing AI as “a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the low vision community, this research project harnesses the power of AI to describe people, text and objects”. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are working on similar projects, as reported by CNET on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: “Epic Health” : New Smartphone App offers Non-Invasive Test for Diabetics

The app is also the latest project from Microsoft built using its artificial intelligence technology. The company also wants to use Artificial Intelligence to handle some of the major problems in healthcare, as visible with its Healthcare NExT initiative and a prototype wearable that helped a woman with tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease.

Seeing AI app is now available to download for free on iOS, but only in the US. There is no statement yet on whether the app will come to other mobile platforms like Android, Windows 10 Mobile or other countries.

– by a Staff writer of Newsgram

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Copyright 2017 NewsGram

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Blind Facebook employee is developing tech for sightless

At Facebook, he works on features to help people with disabilities use the platform.

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A visually impaired Facebook employee is developing technology to make Facebook more fun for the sightless. Pixabay
A visually impaired Facebook employee is developing technology to make Facebook more fun for the sightless. Pixabay
  • A blind Facebook employee is developing AI to make social network for sightless fun
  • He is developing AI which will verbalise images and videos
  • This technology will enable alt-text for images and videos

A blind Facebook employee is developing a technology that will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to verbalise the content of an image or video and enable the visually impaired to “see” and determine appropriate content for people and advertisers.

Facebook engineer Matt King is leading a project that is making solutions for visually impaired people on the platform that could eventually be used to identify images and videos that violate Facebook’s terms of use or that advertisers want to avoid.

Also Read : Facebook might bring Stories on desktop 

This feature will verbalise images and videos for the visually impaired. Image Source: Reuters
This feature will verbalise images and videos for the visually impaired. Image Source: Reuters

“More than two billion photos are shared across Facebook every single day. That’s a situation where a machine-based solution adds a lot more value than a human-based solution ever could,” CNBC quoted King as saying late on Saturday.

King, who was born with a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, lost his vision by the time he got his degree and started working at IBM with the tech giant’s accessibility projects.

He worked on a screen reader to help visually impaired people “see” what is on their screens either through audio cues or a braille device. IBM eventually developed the first screen reader for a graphical interface.

He worked with the accessibility team till Facebook hired him from IBM in 2015.

The man behind this development is Matt King.
The man behind this development is Matt King.

At Facebook, he works on features to help people with disabilities use the platform, like adding captions to videos or coming up with ways to navigate the site using only audio cues.

“Anybody who has any kind of disability can benefit from Facebook. They can develop beneficial connections and understand their disability doesn’t have to define them, to limit them,” King said.

Also Read : Facebook Profit Escalates with No Major Impact from Russia and it’s Advertisements

One of his main projects is “automated alt-text,” which describes audibly what is in Facebook images.

When automated alt-text was launched in April 2016, it was only available in five languages on the iOS app. Today it is available in over 29 languages on Facebook on the web, iOS and Android.

Facebook is available in more than 29 languages across the world. Pixabay
Facebook is available in more than 29 languages across the world. Pixabay

“The things people post most frequently kind of has a limited vocabulary associated with it,” the Facebook engineer said.

“It makes it possible for us to have one of those situations where if you can tackle 20 per cent of the solution, it tackles 80 per cent of the problem. It’s getting that last 20 per cent which is a lot of work, but we’re getting there,” he said.

In December 2017, Facebook pushed an automatic alt-text update that used facial recognition to help visually impaired people find out who is in photos. IANS