Monday December 10, 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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Microsoft Wants Regulation For Facial Recognition Technology To Start in 2019

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology

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A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

Given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019, Microsoft President Brad Smith has said.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” warned Smith in a blog post on Thursday.

“The time for action has arrived,” he said, adding that the industry must also exercise restraint while using this technology.

Speaking of the benefits of the technology, the Microsoft President mentioned that police in New Delhi recently trialled facial recognition technology and identified almost 3,000 missing children in four days.

Similarly, historians in the US have used the technology to identify the portraits of unknown soldiers in Civil War photographs taken in the 1860s.

Researchers successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans.

And in October, the National Australia Bank designed a proof of concept to enable customers to withdraw money from an Automatic Teller Machine using facial recognition and a PIN.

Microsoft
Regulation for facial recognition technology must start in 2019: Microsoft. Pixabay

But at the same time, the potential for abuse of this technology is huge, Smith said, adding that certain uses of this technology could lead to biased decisions and discrimination.

Moreover, the widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people’s privacy, he said.

“The use of facial recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms,” Smith added.

Also Read- Fujifilm Launches its Medium Format Mirrorless Camera in India

“While we believe that new laws and regulations are indispensable, we also recognise that they are not a substitute for the responsibility that needs to be exercised by tech companies,” he said.

Microsoft is one of several companies playing a leading role in developing facial recognition technology.

The company, Smith said, would start adopting new principles to manage the issues surrounding facial recognition technology in the first quarter of 2019. (IANS)