Facebook introduces AI to help blind people get more from the app

Last week, we discussed how Twitter had introduced a new feature which allowed users to attached a 420-word description alongside any uploaded image, in order for visually impaired or blind users to not miss out on anything. This week, Facebook announced something very similar, although it seems their technology is a little more advanced.

The new feature is called “automatic alternative text”, and basically provides a description (for anyone using a screen reader) of the contents of any photo uploaded to the app, without either party having to do anything.

Unlike Twitter’s feature, Facebook uses its object-recognition technology to detect and suggest what the image may consist of. This means that if someone uploads a picture of a beach, the visually-impaired/blind user will be able to click on the image to be told that the image “may contain: sand, sea, sun, sky, etc.”

This new tool is currently only available on iOS devices right now, but will no doubt be launched on Android versions shortly. Stay tuned!

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