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FACEBOOK TO LAUNCH A NEW TOOL THAT ALLOWS BLIND PEOPLE TO ‘SEE’ PHOTOS.

By Douglas Baya / Published on Thursday, 07 Apr 2016 14:52 PM / No Comments / 457 views

Reports have indicated that An estimated 1.8 billion images are uploaded every day to social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This however is bad news for the blind or partially blind who cannot enjoy the sight of these photos.Facebook has put in place plans to launch a new tool that will help the blind ‘see’ photos posted on the platform.

Blind people will now be using sophisticated navigation software called screenreaders to make computers usable. These turn the contents of the screen into speech output or braille. But they can only read text and can’t “read” pictures. Using artificial intelligence (AI), Facebook’s servers can now decode and describe images uploaded to the site and provide them in a form that can be read out by a screenreader.

Facebook have said that they have now trained the software to recognise about 80 familiar objects and activities. It adds the descriptions as alternative text, or alt text, on each photo. The more images it scans, the more sophisticated the software will become. Here are some of the few objects that the new Facebook technology can recognize.

Facebook would also like the system to go one step further and use face recognition to identify people in a picture by name with help from their database of users, but others are resisting the idea on privacy grounds.

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