Microsoft: Accessibility is in a data wasteland

Microsoft: Accessibility is in a data wasteland
The situation can be summed up in the words of Mary Bellard, Microsoft innovation architect: “We are in a desert of data“. Everything is summed up in this because the problem is exactly at the center of a broader context that sees Artificial Intelligence almost useless when it comes to serving people with various types of disabilities. In short: precisely the people who should theoretically make use of the advantages of AI with greater utility, find themselves excluded from the AI ​​itself and this not for technical problems, but for a lack of design on which it is therefore necessary to intervene. >

Microsoft: accessibility needs data

Microsoft is collaborating on this with the University of Texas through the ORBIT project ("Object Recognition for Blind Image Training") whose purpose is to create an information base to be delivered to machine learning systems that will later have to create new services for disabilities (especially for the visually impaired). A visually impaired person, for example, would need to be able to access services capable of recognizing nearby objects in order to describe them and thus replace sight for a voice interaction. However, if the AI ​​does not have enough information to recognize objects and "learn" its task, it becomes impossible to pursue the goal.

Hence the effective image of the "data desert" proposed by Mary Bellard, a starting point on which Microsoft intends to build an open information base to which everyone can contribute. Collecting videos and giving instructions to AI will allow the development of technologies and services that could have a radical impact on people's quality of life, solving many small obstacles that arise in everyday life. In a post published in these hours, the group explains the entire project and all the related developments, explaining how the opening and sharing of information can be the real added value in order to achieve appreciable results.

A road long to go, but we need to start somewhere: Microsoft calls all interested entities together, so that there is as much collaboration as possible and as much energy as possible to put together around this problem.

Source: Microsoft

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