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How Can AI Help People with Disabilities?

Published by Arin Sakayan at December 8, 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the evolution of computer operations ready to complete tasks that ordinarily demand human interference, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and other critical daily tasks.

Many people consider AI to be a world packed with robots and modernistic technology, but for individuals with disabilities of any kind, AI presents a sea of convenience.

Artificial Intelligence Helps People with Disabilities

AI has presented distinct contributions to communication, accessibility, and independent living for people with disabilities. In other words, individuals without disabilities may conceive tech innovations such as Alexa as a useful and handy way to explore recipes or play songs; however, this piece of technology may change their lives for someone with a visual impediment. This is just one illustration of how AI is striving to make a difference in people’s everyday chores.

How Does AI Help?

AI has been proven to become a great source of help and aid in disability improvement. Below are a few of the methods through which AI can be found highly useful.

Increase in Communication

Voice-assisted AI technologies such as Alexa, Echo, Siri, and many more are some of the main communication improvements. These advancements are mainly targeted to service individuals with visual impairments, boasting their communication with smart devices. Moreover, AI is currently improving cognitive systems to help describe images for people with visual impairments. Furthermore, communication progressions in AI are not only limited to the visually impaired. The development of speech-to-text and text-to-speech technology provides even more interactive opportunities for individuals recovering from brain injuries, such as people who have cerebral palsy. For individuals with hearing impairments, AI offers closed captioning programs—such as the ones found on YouTube—to boost understanding.  The dynamism of AI technologies reaches every industry, pushing its strength to develop convenience by increasing communication, not just for convenience.

Higher Accessibility

The number of reasons why a person may need accessibility is plenty—from hereditary conditions, complexities at birth, and early life traumas. This may lead many individuals to seek out the need for beneficial technology for everyday tasks. In other cases, a person may obtain an injury through any form of accident, leaving them confused and overwhelmed by the mere notion of relearning how to operate day-to-day life. Whether it is the former or the latter, AI technology can provide efficient and modernized approaches to daily life and boast independent living. Accessibility is a persistent interest and concern for many individuals with disabilities. A typical example of offered accessibility is the AI program initiated by Microsoft to help those with mobility limitations, form human associations, and operate around the workplace. Many AI technologies aimed to support individuals with visual limitations are intended to acknowledge text on signs and scenery, boasting a more comfortable, mobile lifestyle. Self-driving cars such as the 2020 Tesla Model S or BMW X7, yet another facet of AI that deserves much acknowledgment, are frequently discussed in concerns to people with disabilities. Cars such as the Concept-i RIDE, although not self-driving, produce more vehicle confidence for individuals using wheelchairs. The eminent thing about AI technology in the world of disability improvements is the inclusivity it provides by helping people acquire accommodations and feel more involved in tech progressions. Having the ability to leave the house and drive to the store or any other fundamental errand is a significant improvement for individuals suffering from disabilities that affect their accessibility.

Independent Living

It is a commonly known fact that people with disabilities often cannot perform actions by themselves, thus relying on others for assistance even in the simple act of moving around the house. However, AI-assisted technology merged with progressions over the internet has exposed new opportunities concerning convenience and accessibility. Smart house technology options—such as intelligent lighting outlets, smart garage door openers, elegant curtains, smart doorbells, and many more—are empowering independent living with their AI features. A few more examples include voice-operated technology which controls your home to turn on/off lights, regulates the heat or air conditioning, and even turns the stove on and off to help you cook easier. Many smart home hubs present the habit to acquire your routine and predict needs involving such actions. The capabilities of AI technology prove just how much they can remove the obstacles of daily living. Moreover, acquiring AI technology in the home is beneficial when it comes to safety. A smart home can be arranged to inform if the individual inside the house has fallen by alerting a family member or emergency services.

Although AI is commonly persistent in changing the IT field, engineering industry, and many more tech-related areas, it also presents a relatively strong effect in the world of disabilities. As AI technologies advance on a daily, they will become more accessible to everyday people. Soon enough, AI assistants will become the norm, making AI technology more practical. Nonetheless, each development will be more inclusive when it comes to AI and those with disabilities, awarding better lifestyle arrangements. AI makes it possible for people to communicate, access their homes, and feel safe independently.


Arin Sakayan

Arin Sakayan

Staff WriterArin Sakayan is a Content Writer for Plat.AI, who enjoys combining the world of tech with finance. Her main focus revolves around advancements in the world of robotics and AI, and how these two can be beneficial to mankind.