The technology companies Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft join forces with the University of Illinois (UIUC) and various non-profit organizations, such as the Davis Phinney Foundation (Parkinson) and Team Gleason (ALS), to carry out the study on how artificial intelligence algorithms can be adjusted and improved, so that people with speech disabilities they can also use voice commands and get results like other people.
Basically, it is intended that artificial intelligence algorithms can also understand requests from people who may be affected by diseases that affect speech, such as cases of diseases such as ALS, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, among others, or they are simply people who use speech patterns that artificial intelligence algorithms cannot recognize.
The initiative is called Speech Accessibility Projectalthough at the moment the website is not yet operational, and it will consist of recruiting volunteers, who will be paid for taking part, to obtain samples of the voice of their speech, which will be treated as private data, which allows different speech patterns to be covered and generate a set of data with which to subsequently carry out the training of the algorithms.
So that the algorithms also understand people with speech difficulties
Initially, work will be done on the compilation of samples of speaking voices in American Englishalthough logically it could be advanced in other languages later with which the artificial intelligence algorithms can be trained.
For UIUC professor Mark Hasegawa-Johnson:
Voice interfaces should be available to everyone, and that includes people with disabilities. This task has been difficult because it requires a large amount of infrastructure, ideally the kind that leading technology companies can support. , which is why we have created a unique interdisciplinary team with expertise in linguistics, voice, AI, security and privacy.
No one should be surprised by these initiatives, since companies like Google or Microsoft have been developing accessibility tools in recent years to make it possible for everyone to have access to technology, regardless of their circumstances.
It will be time to wait for the training sessions to extend the use of devices compatible with voice commands to these groups of people for things such as the simple request for information to more complex things such as the management of connected devices.
More information: University of Illinois