For better or worse, the term ‘artificial intelligence’, or simply AI, still conjures up science-fiction-like images of dangerously powerful computers or malevolent robots overthrowing the human race. It still seems like something that belongs in the future, even though it’s been around for a long time and is being used by countless numbers of people on a daily basis, many without even realising.
Online retail websites, social media platforms, film and music streaming services, email filtering systems and ‘virtual assistants’ like Siri and Alexa all use AI, to name just a few uses. And as many e-Access Bulletin readers will know, those virtual assistants also have a wide range of benefits for people with disabilities. So, how can artificial intelligence be harnessed to provide as much assistance as possible for people with impairments? And how can the technology be developed in the future to be of even more use in this are?
These were two of the topics being discussed at an event in Vienna organised by the European Disability Forum (EDF), titled ‘Using artificial intelligence to enhance accessibility – opportunities and risks of emerging technologies for persons with disabilities’.