On the technical side, this is a perfect example of how AI can be used effectively, and is a (very obvious in hindsight) application of the cutting edge in scene understanding and HCI. There are quite a few recent and advanced techniques rolled into one product here, and although I haven't tried it out yet it seems fairly polished from the video. A whitepaper of how this works from the technical side would be fascinating, because even though I'm familiar with the relevant papers it's a long jump between the papers and this product.
On the social side, I think this is a commendable effort, and a fairly low hanging fruit to demonstrate the positive power of new ML techniques. On a site where every other AI article is full of comments (somewhat rightfully) despairing about the negative social aspects of AI and the associated large scale data collection, we should be excited about a tool that exists to improve lives most of us don't even realize need improving. This is the kind of thing I hope can inspire more developers to take the reins on beneficial AI applications.
When the iPhone originally launched, blindness charities were protesting that the touch screen interface would exclude visually impaired users. Less than a year later, the iPhone was being hailed as one of the greatest advances for visually impaired people since braille. Say what you like about Jobs and Ive, but they set the bar for accessibility.
By way of metaphor: Visually impaired people need to be extremely neat and tidy, because they can't easily navigate a messy environment. If you don't put things back on the shelves in exactly the same place every time, you're in deep trouble. Google have a really poor track record of putting things in the same place every time.
For users with other accessibility needs, the size and consistency of the iOS ecosystem is often crucial. iOS gets all the good apps and peripherals first, because it's a much easier development target.
No it is not
(Said as a former nexus 5 owner)
Also, Apple will ban your app if it has the word "android" anywhere in it.
"don’t include names, icons, or imagery of other mobile platforms in your app or metadata"
And here is a case where they actually enforced it:
Do you have a link?
I'm going to assume the original statement is FUD as accused. It does seem incredibly unlikely a dev could draw such a link even if Apple were doing that kind of penalisation (which makes literally no sense to me).
(I'll probably listen anyway since I like those guys, but still ...)
> Coincidentally, Russell Ivanovic is a case in point for what could happen if you defy Apple and launch on Android first. Ivanovic had initially been very lucky to have been assigned an Apple Developer Relations representative who gave him exclusive promotional opportunities. Few developers get assigned these representatives. Among the benefits Ivanovic received was the privilege to have Shifty Jelly's apps preloaded on iPads in Apple stores in Australia, a major marketing boost.
> Things went south In 2012, when Ivanovic launched a new version of the Pocket Casts app on the Android Play Store first, rather than Apple's App Store. The launch was a real success, and he publicly shared the good news. Before he knew it, his Apple Developer Relations representative stopped all contact. The representative would not even answer his emails. Ivanovic had been completely shut out.
But thanks for the info, I can see it certainly would stink to be treated that way, losing your benefits and being ignored by your contact.
I am not sure if this is "withdrawal of special treatment". These guys made great ios apps, both before and after they started making Android apps.
And it was those things which they lost right, rather than some kind of search position punishment?
Edit: Just checked App Store. Microsoft has literally hundreds of apps on there. You should probably go look. But I can't find the app I'm talking about lol
EDIT 2: Found a story on it! 11 years ago!! https://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2006/07/7381/
It was called Photosynth and it seems to have disappeared from the Internet :(
EDIT 3: crap they just shut it down THIS YEAR! https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/photosynth/2017/02/06/micro... It was cool as hell!
Found a 10 year old demo of PhotoSynth here: https://www.ted.com/talks/blaise_aguera_y_arcas_demos_photos...
This is the direction that needs to be undertaken with as much or more fervour than business automation applications.
I'm also impressed with Microsoft's effort here. It looks pretty nice, especially the different 'channels' metaphor for the various ML processing tasks (Scene, barcode, people, short text etc) for the visually impaired.
Reminder: This is a Microsoft marketing video, they are never like the actual product. See Kinect and Hololens teasers for more.
edit: I'm wrong. it's in other stores as well, but not in the Australian app store, which is the one that I tried.
Anirudh from Seeing AI team
I do however prefer a German locale as in number, time, units, etc.
Some companies only release iOS applications in certain countries to begin with because they want a gradual rollout rather than doing a global launch all at once. The App Store doesn't give you many options in this respect.
The process in image: https://www.imore.com/how-download-pokemon-go-canada-uk-and-...
I did that to get some Japanese apps.
Things like this make articles like this one seem silly: https://www.madebymany.com/stories/what-if-ai-is-a-failed-dr...
And this is just from my perspective - someone who is not visually impaired. For the person who is, every single thing they look at and read is going to be recorded and used.
It's an unfortunate situation for people to put in, and I'm sure everyone will choose using improvements like this over not using them. As much as I would love to see a focus on privacy for projects like this, I don't imagine it happening any time soon, given how powerful the data involved is.
I imagine a future where AI assistants like this are commonplace, and there is no escaping them.
Also, check this blog from a blind user and some interesting comments: http://chrishofstader.com/seeing-ai-first-impressions/
(1) Eye Controlled Wheelchair for people with ALS
(2) Color Binoculars - App for people who are colorblind
(3) Hearing AI - App including live speech recognition and sounds recognition for people with profound hearing loss
(4) Learning Tools for OneNote - https://www.onenote.com/learningtools
(5) Dictate - Speech based keyboard control to type emails/documents ( http://dictate.ms), built originally for people with hand dexterity issues
A few of my peers now work full time on projects originated at the hackathon.
- Anirudh from Seeing AI team
Screw Siri, thats a real AI assistant :)
These assistive technologies are fantastic, but I wonder whether a vision-impaired person who has adapted to life before they were available would be weary about adopting them, on the basis that if it breaks or becomes unavailable that they would have maybe lost the skills and sharpness of other senses to compensate?
On the other hand the "short text" feature works amazingly well to read text is sees from the camera. It's fast and accurate when reading text even at some non optimal angles.
How do you get it to try to recognize items that the camera sees?
Oops. I guess it would help if I swiped right....
This is a terrible idea.
Additionally, presumably its capacity to make an error better is not better than a human's capacity to make that error better. Even over very small timescales, tens of seconds, a computer confronted with a typo will never outperform a human confronted with the same typo.
He has a magnifier in his home, but it isn't portable and is limited to working only with documents and images that can lie flat.
edit: After speaking with my friend, he already uses a popular app called KNFB Reader that works very well on short text and documents, but costs $100. On the plus side, it works on Android or iOS.
I would hope it could get this one right, there's a massive amount of training data to recognize it.
I am going to give Seeing AI a try as well, but I totally understand why a research department would like to have a demo as an Application available for public.
I am guessing you are using iOS 11 Beta. We are currently working on support for iOS 11 beta, and will shortly be updating the app. Stay tuned!
It's a really commendable effort from MS. An immense benefit for people who have vision challenges.
Are you guys hiring? If yes then what are the skills you are looking for?