According to Facebook, there are nearly 300 million visually impaired people around the world. If these people use smart phones, they will be able to hear the explanation of the image on the screen. Before the update in the operating system, the smart phones only voiced the “photograph” word and who shared it.
In the first stage, the photo descriptions will be limited to 100 words so the users will not hear much detail. Visually impaired users will hear a sentence like “there are three people, smiling, outside” but the AI will not say that these people are also eating and drinking.
Facebook is taking things slow so as to avoid any possible embarrassment. Last year, Google’s search engine identified a black couple as gorillas and the company had to apologize for that.
People at Facebook say that they will improve their technology in time and it will be possible to make more precise descriptions. They are even aiming to answer the user questions about the images.
In the announcement, they say: “Each step taken in object recognition technology will increase accessibility so that we will reach more people. When people connect to each other, we will be able to achieve extraordinary things not only personally but also as a society.”
For now, the first version of the program is limited to phones with IOS. The next step will be bringing this technology to Android phones. The company is planning to implement this technology to internet browsers in near future. Not only on the website but also through different applications, the estimated number of photos shared daily is 2 billion.