Facebook is now using AI to describe photos to the blind

Browse through your Facebook News Feed and you’ll see photos play a prominent part, meaning visually impaired users are missing out on a lot of updates from their friends. Now Facebook’s engineers have harnessed the power of an artificial intelligence network to describe these pictures to blind or partially blind users.

Facebook is calling the system “automatic alternative text” and it’s based on a neural network primed with billions of parameters and millions of examples. Such neural networks – vast, complex databases designed to mimic the human brain as closely as possible – are playing an increasingly important role in modern computing.

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