Tuesday, 16 October 2018

AI: How machines help us all?

The only issue we can see is that AI will be programmed by the unintelligent.   Personally what deaf person wants to spend time talking to a box of electronics? especially a USA one that has rather dubious knowledge of basic English... or the obscurity of signed 'English' grammar.  Let's not even start regarding regional/national differences...  The best use of technology would be to overcome hearing loss altogether.

Artificial intelligence often leads to speculation about how machines may displace workers. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thinks we should talk more about how AI algorithms can expand the workforce now—by helping people with disabilities. 

“There are a billion people in the world who don’t fully participate in our economies or societies,” Nadella said, at the WIRED25 Summit in San Francisco. “Technology can allow them to fully participate.” Nadella, a WIRED25 Icon, nominated Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s chief accessibility officer, as someone who will shape the next 25 years of technology. 

Lay-Flurrie was born hearing-impaired, and is now profoundly deaf. She described a Microsoft research project that created a plugin for PowerPoint that can automatically add closed captions during a presentation, by transcribing a speaker’s words. People in the audience can choose to see those captions in their language of choice, thanks to Microsoft’s automated translation technology. “Artificial intelligence is going to just open up so many doors to us all,” said Lay-Flurrie. 

She was accompanied by a sign language translator who helps her understand what people around her are saying, so that Lay-Flurrie can respond with her own voice. She said automatic captioning is one example of how AI technology could help more people into the workforce. Another is software that can translate sign language to help hearing and non-hearing people communicate more naturally, she said. The unemployment rate of people with disabilities is roughly twice that for the rest of the population, Lay-Flurrie said. 

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