AI improving the lives of the differently-abled
Artificial Intelligence is the field of technology that includes smart devices and evolving algorithms that are programmed to perform cognitive tasks. The primary benefit is that the algorithms are self-learning and produce better results with each use. AI has changed our way of living and has become a significant part of our lives. It can assist you in writing emails with its auto-captions option or can detect texts in any picture. With technologies like Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, etc. AI has made our lives easier. From playing a song by the command of our voice to finding possibilities of cancer cells, AI has proven to be successful in practically every industry. It is incredibly user-friendly and accessible to everyone, even for people with disabilities.
Artificial Intelligence has an immense and positive impact on the lives of the differently-abled. There are numerous cases of AI proving to be beneficial to disabled people. We’ll look at a couple of these cases and their implications in this blog.
AI has proved successful in supporting the disabled by automating functions such as speech, picture, and voice recognition, decision making, and all other tasks that require human intelligence. AI’s impact on differently-abled people’s lives:
Communicating and being connected :
Communicating and coordinating with others can often become a challenge for people with disabilities. It can be tough for them to be connected in a world that is becoming increasingly digitized, thanks to the rise of social media use and our reliance on the Internet. Based on the disability, AI has come with different solutions.
For visually impaired people:
VoiceOver: Using any digital product can be challenging for visually impaired people. To solve this problem, we now have the feature of voiceover in our gadgets. iPhone comes with a built-in screen reader. Even though its primary function is to verbalize any email or text message, VoiceOver also uses artificial intelligence to characterize app icons, battery levels, and even a few pictures. Android users have a similar feature called Talkback installed in their phones which allows them to operate their smartphones.
Virtual Assistant: Virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google assistant, etc have proven to be one of the greatest applications of artificial intelligence in real life. Voice recognition allows users to simply verbalize their requests, such as conducting a Google search or voicing a text message to a buddy. People with vision impairments can utilize this assistance to communicate with others and be updated with all the new gossip!
Facial Recognition: Not just apps but AI also makes websites accessible. One such step would be to remove the CAPTCHA security point. CAPTCHA’s can be an issue for visually impaired people as it's tough for them to find it. To make lives easier for them there are options to replace the CAPTCHA security step with facial recognition.
Readjustment of Graphics: For those with visual impairments, graphic components such as fonts, colors, and spacing are modified which makes it easier to comprehend.
For people who are deaf or hard of hearing:
Virtual Assistant: Similar to the above case, the virtual assistant also helps people with hearing impairments to be connected to the world.
Transcription app: It can be exhausting at times to follow a group conversation for people with hearing impairments. This is where AI kicks in with its transcription app feature. It uses artificial intelligence to document a group’s conversation in real-time. Its algorithm incorporates punctuation, the speaker’s name, and relevant words from the recipient’s dictionary. It’s a simple technique for those with hearing impairments to participate in and understand a conversation with multiple people without having to lip-read. A few examples of apps like these are AVA and RogerVoice. RogerVoice is available in 90 different languages.
Auto-Captions: Nowadays all videos and applications come with a feature to provide auto-captions for that video. By using this people with hearing impairments will not feel secluded from the world of entertainment. Auto-Captions make it easier for them to follow the video.
For people with physical disabilities:
Virtual Assistant: Once again Virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant has proven to be a boon for people with disabilities. People with limited mobility can access their devices with the help of their voices. Google Voice Command was developed with people with reduced mobility in mind.
IFTTT: IFTTT or If this then that application allows you to connect all your apps and devices. It is an application that connects other apps so that a user with limited mobility can utilize all of the features of his smartphone without difficulty. It develops connections with the apps to accomplish activities like reading an email out loud and publishing a tweet automatically.
For people with speech impairment:
Speech recognition: Voice-recognition software allows people with speech impediments to access the Internet or any other service via sounds and gestures.
Independent in-home living :
Another issue in the lives of disabled people is a lack of independence. It can be a real challenge for them to stay home alone. But AI solves this problem too.
With smart home setups, AI provides people with control of their house with just voice commands. With the simple voice commands, you can access requests for anything you want to do, from turning lights on/off to playing some good music. This allows people with limited mobility or any other disability to lead independent lives. One of the biggest examples of this type of AI application is Alexa. Alexa and smart household settings allow you to configure smart doorbells and door locks which can be accessed with the simplest of voice commands.
Increasing accessibility :
People with restricted physical mobility or visual impairment can benefit from AI technology. Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility effort harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to provide solutions to some of the physiological and cognitive barriers that handicapped people confront at the workplace and in everyday life, allowing them to participate more fully in society. Examples of a few such technologies are:
Soundscape: This is an amazing app that helps people with visual impairments by describing their surroundings by audio 3D technology. They will be aware of nearby sites of interest as well as crossroads. It’s really handy to take in the sights of the city.
Self Driving Cars: Self Driving cars is one of the biggest revolutionary ideas in the field of technology. They can be a really handy application for disabled people. For housebound people with impairments, AI self-driving automobiles and other kinds of autonomous transportation promise amazing freedom of mobility. This allows them to go out and live their life in a normal manner and not be dependent on others for their travel needs. We can also modify these services for every individual's needs to make them more accessible.
To conclude I would like to emphasize the importance of AI in the lives of disabled people. AI is always working in the direction of helping mankind. Through so many applications AI has improved the quality of life for the differently-abled. It helps them in their daily tasks and also helps them in learning new skills. As AI advances, more effective and unique solutions for solving the most difficult issues encountered by people with special needs and enabling greater inclusion for them may become available.
Thank you for reading!