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Facebook Working on AI That Can Describe Photos to the Blind

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Facebook yesterday announced that it’s working on new artificial intelligence technology that can describe photos to people who can’t see them. The AI would allow the blind to interact with the world of photo sharing in ways that aren’t currently possible.

“Our AI can now look at a photo, figure out what’s in it and help explain it to you,” writes Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “This is especially helpful if you’re blind or can’t see the photo. We see AI as helping computers better understand the world — so they can be more helpful to people.”

“We’re still early with this technology, and you can already start to imagine how helpful it will be in the future.”

Here’s a video he shared that shows off what the technology is like and where it’s headed:

I'm inspired by this video about our artificial intelligence research at Facebook.Our AI can now look at a photo, figure out what's in it and help explain it to you. This is especially helpful if you're blind or can't see the photo. We see AI as helping computers better understand the world — so they can be more helpful to people.We're still early with this technology, and you can already start to imagine how helpful it will be in the future.

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Examples of photo descriptions found in the video include “This image may contain: outdoor, cloud, foliage, plant, tree,” and “This image may contain: six people, child, closeup.”

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“In the future we’ll be able to give a complete description of the image,” says Facebook AI Research Director Yann Lecun. “We have systems in the lab that are able to do this, and they will be deployed over the next few years.”

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