Sight Tech Global 2022 agenda announced • TechCrunch

The third annual Sight Tech Global conference, a virtual, free and highly accessible The December 7-8 event brings together some of the world’s best experts working on assistive technology, especially AI, for people who are blind or have low vision. If you don’t follow this topic, maybe you should, because a lot of cutting-edge technology over the years (think OCR and NLP) was developed from the beginning with blind people in mind and moved from there to more mainstream uses. Sign up today!

At this year’s event, we’re having sessions with the creators of several new devices to help with the vision, and we’ll talk about the technology architecture decisions that were made to balance capacity with cost and leverage existing platforms.

We will also see for the first time accessibility in virtual reality, which is an area of ​​great concern because if virtual reality is to take off in the worlds of entertainment and business, it is vital that people without vision have access, as they do today in the smart phones. and computers thanks to screen readers like JAWS, VoiceOver and NVDA.

Our third big slab of programming is about the AI ​​itself. There is no shortage of hype when it comes to AI’s capabilities, and it’s important to push that back by discussing some serious limitations and shortcomings in how current AI works for people with disabilities, not to mention humanity in general. At the same time, it can be said that AI is the best core technology for people without vision. Understanding AI is vital to the future of all people with disabilities for all of those reasons. Don’t forget to register today!

And before we navigate this incredible agenda: For technologists, designers, and product folks working on momentous assistive technology, we’re hosting a small in-person event on December 9th with workshops on assistive technology, many by the same luminaries on the agenda. . Interested? Contact Us.

Here’s the schedule. For schedules and more, go to the Sight Tech Global agenda page.

The Dynamic Touch Device: That “Sacred Braille” for education is near

Continuing last year’s discussion about APH and Humanware collaborating to create an education-focused touchscreen (see next session), Greg Stilson updates Sight Tech Global on the project’s progress and APH’s work toward an SDK. for developers to develop touch screen. . Greg Stilson will also lead a breakout session for attendees who want to dive deeper into the dynamic touch device.

Greg Stilson, Director of Global Innovation, APH

Moderator: Devin Coldewey, Writer and Photographer, TechCrunch

The DOT Pad: How the Bible and Smartphone Speaker Technology Inspired a Breakthrough

For decades, engineers have worked on a braille display that can represent tactile images and multi-line braille. DOT Pad may have cracked the code with an innovative approach to generating dynamic fields of braille pins powered by smart integrations combined with existing technologies, like Apple’s VoiceOver. Eric Kim and Ki Sung will also lead a breakout session for attendees who want to learn more.

Eric Ju Yoon Kim Co-Founder/CEO DOT

Ki Kwang Sung Co-Founder/CEO DOT

Moderator: Devin Coldewey Writer and Photographer TechCrunch

Virtual reality and inclusion: What does non-visual access to the metaverse mean?

People with disabilities and accessibility advocates are working to make sure the metaverse is accessible to everyone. This panel will delve into the research on the challenges that current virtual and augmented reality tools create for people who are blind or have low vision. remote workplaces, but only if they are built with inclusion in mind.

Moderator Bill Curtis Davidson Co-Director, Association for Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT)

Alexa Huth, Director of Strategic Communications, PEAT

Brandon Keith Biggs, Software Engineer, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute and CEO XR Navigation

Aaron Gluck, PhD candidate in Human-Centered Computing, Clemson University

Inventing the “screen reader” for VR: Owlchemy Lab’s Cosmonious High

For VR game developers, there are plenty of reasons to experiment with accessibility early on, which is what the team at Owlchemy Labs did with Cosmonious High, the 2022 release of a fun first-person shooter set in a school. intergalactic high school that one reviewer said “has all the charm and sass of a good Nickelodeon kids’ show.” And it reveals some of the earliest approaches to accessibility in virtual reality.

Peter Galbraith, Accessibility Engineer II, Owlchemy Labs

Jazmin Cano, Accessibility Product Manager II, Owlchemy Labs

Moderator James Rath, filmmaker, accessibility advocate, and gamer

Pixar-style audio description

AI-powered synthetic audio description may have a place in some forms of accessible video content, but the artistry of the fully human-produced audio descriptions that Pixar produces for its productions sets a creative standard no AI will ever reach, and that’s all for the good. Meet the Pixar team members behind excellence in audio description.

Eric Pearson, Home Entertainment Supervisor, Pixar

Anna Capezzera, Director, Audio Description Operations, Deluxe

Laura Post, voice actress

Christina Stevens, Managing Editor, Deluxe

Moderator Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President, Accessibility, Comcast

See the AI ​​and the new AI

Microsoft’s hugely popular Seeing AI is one of the apps that seems to do everything from reading documents to recognizing people and things. Those services are enabled by Microsoft’s rapidly advancing cloud-based AI systems. How is Seeing AI moving forward with those capabilities, and what is the future of Seeing AI?

Saqib Shaikh, Co-Founder of Seeing AI, Microsoft

Moderator Larry Goldberg, Accessibility Sensei & Technology Consultant

Accessibility is AI’s biggest challenge: How Alexa aspires to make it fairer for everyone

Smart home technology such as Alexa has been one of the biggest boons in recent years for blind people and people with disabilities in general. Voice technology and AI help empower people in many ways, but one obstacle stands in their way: making it equitable. In this session, learn from Amazon about how they are addressing the challenge ahead.

Peter Korn, Director of Accessibility, Devices and Services, Amazon

Josh Miele, Principal Accessibility Researcher, Amazon

Caroline Desrosiers, Founder and CEO, Scribely

Hands on with Seleste

Rapid advances in phones, data networks, and hardware miniaturization always seem to be converging on the concept of that super-useful, affordable, and discreet assistive device. Seleste plans to launch later this year with a pair of tech-enabled glasses that set an important benchmark on that journey.

Shubh Mittal, Founder, Celeste

Smit Patel, co-founder, Seleste

Moderator, Jennison Asunción, Head of Accessibility Engineering Evangelism, LinkedIn

Hands on with ARx

Like Seleste, ARx is a recently launched device designed to harness the technology platforms surrounding everyday life with a minimally visible, private, head-mounted device. Both Seleste and ARx leaders will discuss what they have learned in the course of developing and testing their devices.

Charles Leclerq, CEO, ARx Vision

Moderator, Lucy Greco, expert and consultant in electronic accessibility

What’s next with StellarTrek

While the Seleste and ARx are newcomers to assistive devices, Humanware is a well-respected established player whose new StellarTrek also takes powerful advantage of technological advances, but also separates itself from the newcomers when it comes to technology architecture and factors. so.

Louis-Philippe Massé, Vice President of Innovation and Product Technologies, Humanware

Peter Tucic, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Humanware

Moderator, Sam Proulx, Accessibility Evangelist, Fable

The problems with AI

Despite the amazing advances in AI over the past decade, the so-called “deep learning” AI technology that is prevalent today has underappreciated limitations and even poses societal dangers. Our speakers are world-renowned AI experts and AI “mavericks” who believe we need AI that is more responsible and more capable of producing common-sense results.

David Ferrucci, Founder and CEO, Elementary Cognition

Gary Marcus, Founder and CEO of Robust AI

Moderator, Ned Desmond, Founder and Executive Producer, Sight Tech Global

Has Computer Vision AI got worse or better?

The ability of assistive technology devices to recognize objects, faces, and scenes is a type of AI called Computer Vision, which requires the creation of vast databases of human-tagged images to train AI algorithms. A new technique called “one time learning” learns dramatically faster because the AI ​​trains itself with images over the Internet. No human supervision is needed. Is that a good idea?

Danna Gurari, Assistant. Professor, Founding Director, Image and Video Computing Group, University of Colorado Boulder

Moderator, Cecily Morrison, Principal Investigator, Microsoft Research Cambridge

What Waymo Learned at the DOT Inclusive Design Challenge

Waymo participated in the US Department of Transportation’s Inclusive Design Challenge and emerged with numerous accessibility lessons and features that will help Waymo self-driving rides better serve people with disabilities. The Waymo team is still processing everything they learned.

Lauren Schwendimann, UX Design Lead and Manager, Waymo

Jeffrey Colon, Director of Access Technology, Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Moderator, Mike May, Chief Evangelist, Goodmaps

Don’t forget to register for this free virtual event.

We thank current sponsors iSenpai, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, Humanware, Microsoft, Ford, Fable, APH, and Waymo. If you want to sponsor the event, please contact us. All sponsorship proceeds go to the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a non-profit organization that has been serving the Silicon Valley community for 75 years.

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