There are many ways in which new technologies can improve the lives of those with various disabilities. When it comes to the visually impaired, artificial intelligence, or AI, is bringing new opportunities. This article looks at a few of the ways that AI can improve the lives of people who are partially and completely blind.
Using AI to Improve Lives
The applications of AI stretch across different industries. AI is improving entertainment, providing better virtual assists, and making the shopping experience more personalized. There are also many different areas where AI-aided programs are being used to give different categories of people more much-needed assistance in how they go about their daily lives. These technology tools can bring assisted vision and sense to the visually impaired.
AI can cover a broad set of new technology capabilities. In general, AI refers to computer science simulations and algorithms used to give computer programs greater intelligence. The goal of this artificial intelligence is to mimic human intelligence more closely beyond basic computer functions. Programming a computer in this way requires a lot of coding, data, and often trial and error.
There are an estimated 1.3 million people in the United States who fall under the visually impaired and legally blind categories. There are many parts of daily life that people with full vision can easily take for granted. The aim of tools such as AI in this space is to provide vision-assisted devices and apps to allow these people to experience more of the world around them and game more independence. As the world of computers, technology, and the internet continue to transform how people learn, get quick information, and access entertainment and services, AI can make it possible for people with different disabilities to not be completely left out of this progress.
Examples of Specific AI-related Vision Aids and Related Tools
Many of the large technology players, as well as numerous startup companies, are working to bring AI to visual aid software. Here a few examples of the tech tools and apps that are other already available or still in the development stage.
Seeing AI- This free app allows people of various levels of low vision to get a greater understanding of the world around them. The app uses AI to analyze the surroundings and provide an audio description of the objects and writing in the vicinity. This is an ongoing research project.
Seeing AI was developed by Microsoft. Their vision for this technology is to make the world more inclusive. The app is effectively a talking camera, and it is constantly being improved to build a memory database of familiar objects and faces.
EyeSense is another artificial intelligence application. It was developed by ID Labs. The vision for this app is to help those with mild cognitive impairment to get a greater grasp of their surroundings. Besides the visually impaired, the app is also targeted at those with mild memory loss and impaired language and thinking skills.
EyeSense doesn’t need an internet connection to work. It has strong AI computing software to help it recognize objects. It is also specially geared to improve interpersonal connection through advanced facial recognition features. Like all AI programs, learning new things is a huge part of the app’s journey. This is not the only development from ID Labs, and there are more products in the pipeline, which are also going to make use of advanced AI software.
These are just two examples of AI-aided apps that can improve the lives of people with visual disabilities. Other assistive technologies out there include text to braille converters and other devices to help the blind with mobility and orientation.