Artificial Intelligence and Assistive Technologies

·4 mins
Christoph C. Cemper

Every day, artificial intelligence shows us new possibilities for how we can use technology to make our lives easier. AI is having a huge impact just about everywhere, especially with users who have disabilities. AI-driven technologies are improving how people with disabilities communicate and offering myriad opportunities for more independence in their daily lives. For many of us, AI has brought convenience and greater efficiency, but for many people with disabilities, it has also brought a greatly improved quality of life.

Computer Vision>

Computer Vision #

AI-powered tools have given devices the power to visually understand the world in a way that wasn’t possible just a few years ago. People with vision loss can now better navigate their world with the help of algorithms that can identify the objects and people around them. AI has also improved translation software that can recognize text and read it out loud in the user’s native language.

Natural Language Processing>

Natural Language Processing #

Natural language processing is at the heart of many of the most popular modern AI tools, but it’s not only useful for letting us to talk to a computer the way we talk to people. NLP technology can also help with turning written text into natural-sounding speech or accurately translating spoken words into written text. This can greatly improve communication for people with speech impairments.

Personalization Through Predictive Analytics>

Personalization Through Predictive Analytics #

AI is great at analyzing and finding patterns in data, and it can use those skills to help people with difficulty communicating to convey their thoughts more effectively. Writing tools with built-in AI can spot spelling and grammar errors as well as point out repetition and even suggest what you might want to type next, personalizing its suggestions based on your own writing style and the language you most commonly use.

Cognitive Assistance>

Cognitive Assistance #

With AI-powered assistants like Alexa and Siri, people who have difficulty with organization or remembering things can get a little extra help when they need it. AI-driven tools can maintain schedules and give reminders to keep people with attention deficit disorder on task. They can also be programmed to be an empathetic helper to people who have difficulty with social situations.

Smart Homes>

Smart Homes #

AI assistants can also integrate with smart home technology, allowing people with disabilities to turn appliances and lights on and off with voice commands. AI is also built into systems that can learn a person’s daily routine and adjust the thermostat to keep the home comfortable while saving energy.

Prosthetics and Mobility Aids>

Prosthetics and Mobility Aids #

There’s also AI inside the mechanisms and sensors in prosthetic limbs. Algorithms can learn from the data in a prosthetic device’s sensors to adapt to how you move, making their use more natural-feeling and the devices themselves more responsive. AI-powered prosthetic hands can even identify the object you’re reaching for and automatically adjust the fingers to grasp it properly.

Assistive Technology Resources>

Assistive Technology Resources #