Google’s newest accessibility options embody a doubtlessly intelligent use of AI. The corporate is updating its Lookout app for Android with an “picture query and reply” function that makes use of DeepMind-developed AI to elaborate on descriptions of photos with no captions or alt textual content. If the app sees a canine, for instance, you possibly can ask (by way of typing or voice) if that pup is playful. Google is inviting a handful of individuals with blindness and low imaginative and prescient to check the function, with plans to increase the viewers “quickly.”
It’s going to even be simpler to get round city should you use a wheelchair — or a stroller, for that matter. Google Maps is increasing wheelchair-accessible labels to everybody, so you may know if there is a step-free entrance earlier than you present up. If a location does not have a pleasant entrance, you may see an alert in addition to particulars for different lodging (resembling wheelchair-ready seating) that can assist you resolve whether or not or not a spot is well worth the journey.
A handful of minor updates might nonetheless be useful. Reside Caption for calls helps you to kind again responses which can be learn aloud to recipients. Chrome on desktop (quickly for cell) now spots URL typos and suggests options. As introduced, Put on OS 4 will embody sooner and extra constant text-to-speech when it arrives later within the yr.
Google has been pushing arduous on AI in latest months, and launched a deluge of options at I/O 2023. The Lookout improve could be one of the helpful, although. Whereas AI descriptions are useful, the Q&A function can present particulars that might usually require one other human’s enter. That would increase independence for folks with imaginative and prescient points.