How Artificial Intelligence (AI) will improve independent living for people with disabilities.
Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in improving the lives for people with disabilities. Many individuals currently rely on others to assist them in their home. Assistance may include: cooking, cleaning, self-care, and money management. AI-assisted technology is opening up new possibilities in regards to accessibility. Smart home technology is enabling independent living with its AI capabilities.
Amazon recently introduced a feature for the Echo Show smart speaker with a screen called Tap to Alexa. This ground breaking feature allows people with speech impairments ask Alexa a question without using their voice. Instead, preset menu options allow them to make a choice by tapping the display. The features can also be customized. For example, using the Echo Dot or Echo Show users can program it to turn certain smart home devices on or off.
Microsoft announced at a build developer conference an “AI for Accessibility” pledge to spend $25 million over five years. The funds will go to developers to develop AI tools which can accelerate the development of accessibility solutions. Recently, Microsoft launched an adaptive controller for the Xbox. The Xbox features multiple ports that are compatible with a wide range of accessories including: adaptive controller, wheelchair arm mount, and leg mount. Microsoft improved its’ packaging keeping in mind gamers who have limited mobility.
Google revealed their Lookout app at their last conference. The app employs machine learning and image processing. The app is geared towards assisting the visually impaired by wearing a Pixel around their neck. The pixel uses spoken cues to detect people and objects around them.
AI technology will provide a sense of safety and security in the home. A smart home can be set up to tell if a person has injured themselves. It can also be set up to alert a family member or agency that the individual needs medical attention. Safety concerns add another layer to why independent living for those with a disability can be difficult. However, Artificial Intelligence technology can make it possible for people with disabilities to live independently and feel safe in their homes.