FACEBOOK IS NOW using artificial intelligence to automatically generate captions for photos in the News Feed of people who can’t see them.
The tool is called Automatic Alternative Text, and it dovetails with text-to-speech engines that allow blind people to use Facebook in other ways. Using deep neural networks, the system can identify particular objects in a photo, from cars and boats to ice cream and pizza. It can pick out particular characteristics of the people in the photo, including smiles and beards and eyeglasses. And it can analyze a photo in a more general sense, determining that a photo depicts sun or ocean waves or snow. The text-to speech engine will then “read” these things aloud.