When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella launched Saqib Shaikh on stage at Create in 2016, he was clearly moved by the engineer’s “passion and empathy,” which Nadella claimed, “is likely to change the earth.”
That assessment was on the mark simply because Shaikh went on to co-located the cellular application Looking at AI, which is a showcase for the power of AI utilized to the wants of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Making use of the digicam on a mobile phone, the Observing AI app can explain a actual physical scene, detect people and their demeanor, browse paperwork (such as handwritten ones), study forex values and tell colors. The most current edition employs haptic technological know-how to assistance the user explore the situation of objects and people today in an graphic. The application has been applied 20 million situations considering the fact that launch virtually a few many years in the past, and now it works in 8 languages.
It’s exciting to announce that Shaikh will be speaking at Sight Tech International, a virtual, global celebration that addresses how swift innovations in technological know-how, numerous of them AI-similar, will affect the advancement of accessibility and assistive technologies for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The present, which is a job for the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired Silicon Valley, launched not long ago on TechCrunch. The digital occasion is Dec. 2-3 and free of charge to the general public. Pre-register right here.
Shaikh lost his eyesight at the age of 7, and attended a college for blind college students, the place he was intrigued by desktops that could “talk” to pupils. He went on to study laptop science at the U.K.’s University of Sussex. “One of the issues I experienced normally dreamt of due to the fact college,” he claims, “was anything that could explain to you at any minute who and what’s heading on all-around you.” That dream turned into his future.
Immediately after he joined Microsoft in 2006, Shaikh participated in Microsoft’s yearly, 7 days-long hackathons in 2014 and 2015 to develop the idea of making use of AI in techniques that could aid people today who are blind or visually impaired. Not extended just after, Seeing AI turned an formal venture and Shaikh’s whole-time position at Microsoft. The company’s Cognitive Expert services APIs have been crucial to his get the job done, and he now sales opportunities a workforce of engineers who are leveraging emerging technological innovation to empower people today who are blind.
“When it comes to AI,” suggests Shaikh, “I think about disabled people today to be seriously good early adopters. We can issue to history where blind persons have been applying conversing books for decades and so on, all the way via to OCR text-to-speech, which is early AI. These days, this idea that a laptop or computer can appear at an image and transform it into a sentence has quite a few use-circumstances but likely the most powerful is to describe that impression to a blind particular person. For blind individuals this is incredibly empowering.” Below is a movie Microsoft released in 2016 about Shaikh and the Viewing AI undertaking.
The Looking at AI challenge is an early instance of a resource that taps different AI technologies in ways that create an pretty much “intelligent” working experience. Looking at AI does not just examine the text, for case in point, it also tells the person how to move the cellular phone so the document is in the viewfinder. It doesn’t just explain to you there are persons in entrance of you, it tells you some thing about them, which include who they are (if you have named them in the earlier) and their normal physical appearance.
At Sight Tech World-wide, Shaikh will communicate about the long run of Seeing AI and his sights on how accessibility will unfold in a environment much more richly enabled by cloud compute, lower latency networks and ever a lot more subtle AI algorithms and information sets.
To pre-sign up for a no cost go, make sure you take a look at Sight Tech Global.
Make sure you follow the party on Twitter @Globalsight.
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