Sight Tech Global 2022 Agenda Announced • TechCrunch

The third annual Sight Tech World Conference, a virtual, free and highly accessible event on December 7 and 8 brings together some of the world’s leading experts working on assistive technologies, especially AI, for people who are blind or visually impaired. If you’re not following this topic, perhaps you should, because many cutting-edge technologies over the years — think OCR and NLP — were first developed with blind people in mind and moved from there to more mainstream uses. Register today!

At this year’s event, we’re meeting with the creators of several new devices to aid vision, and we’ll talk about the technology architecture decisions that went into balancing the cost and usability of existing platforms.

We’ll also take a first look at VR accessibility, which is an area of ​​huge concern because if/when VR takes off in the entertainment and business worlds, it’s vital that visually impaired people can access it as they do today on smart phones and computers thanks to screen readers such as JAWS, VoiceOver and NVDA.

Our third major programming slate concerns artificial intelligence itself. There’s no shortage of hype around AI’s potential, and it’s important to push back against it by discussing some serious limitations and deficits in how current AI works for people with disabilities, not to mention humanity in general. At the same time, AI is arguably the best mainstream technology ever for the visually impaired. Understanding AI is vital to the future of all people with disabilities for all of these reasons. Don’t forget to register today!

And before you scroll through this amazing agenda: For technologists, designers, and product people working in seismic assistive technology, we’re hosting a small, in-person event on December 9th with assistive technology workshops, many of which are hosted by the same luminaries at the day layout. Interested? Contact us.

Here is the agenda. To see times and more times, go to the Sight Tech World Agenda page.

The dynamic touch device: This “Holy Braille” for education is at hand

Following on from last year’s discussion of APH and Humanware’s collaboration to create an education-focused touchscreen (see next session), Greg Stilson updates Sight Tech Global on project progress and APH’s work towards an SDK for developers who will build on the touchscreen. Greg Stilson will also lead a session for attendees looking to delve deeper into the Dynamic Tactile Device.

Greg Stilson, Head of Global Innovation, APH

Moderator: Devin Coldewey, Writer & Photographer, TechCrunch

The DOT Pad: How Bible and smartphone speaker technology inspired a breakthrough

For decades, engineers have worked toward a braille display that can render tactile images and multi-line braille. The DOT Pad may have cracked the code with an innovative approach to creating dynamic braille pin fields that are enabled by smart integrations combined with existing technologies such as Apple’s VoiceOver. Eric Kim and Ki Sung will also lead a 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 & Photographer TechCrunch

Virtual Reality and Inclusion: What Does Non-Visual Access to the Metaverse Mean?

People with disabilities and accessibility advocates are working to ensure that the metaverse is accessible to all. This panel will delve into research into the challenges that current virtual and augmented reality tools create for people who are blind or have low vision. Participants will share their experiences using immersive technologies and explore how these tools can be used to improve employment opportunities in hybrid and hybrid and hybrid systems. remote workplaces — but only if they are built with inclusion in mind.

Moderator Bill Curtis Davidson Co-Director, Partnership on Employment & 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’s every reason to experiment with accessibility from the ground up, as the team at Owlchemy Labs did with Cosmonious High, the 2022 release of a fun first-person game set in an intergalactic high school that One reviewer said “has all the charm and cheek of a good Nickelodeon kids’ show.” And it reveals some of the first approaches to accessibility in VR.

Peter Galbraith, Accessibility Engineer II, Owlchemy Labs

Jazmin Cano, Accessibility Product Manager II, Owlchemy Labs

Moderator James Rath, filmmaker, accessibility advocate and gamer

Audio description the Pixar Way

Artificial intelligence, synthetic audio description may have a place in some forms of accessible video content, but the art of fully human-produced audio descriptions that Pixar produces for its productions set a creative standard that AI will never achieve, and that’s all for Kalos. Meet members of the Pixar team behind the excellence in audio descriptions.

Eric Pearson, Supervisor of Home Entertainment, Pixar

Anna Capezzera, Director, Audio Description Operations, Deluxe

Laura Post, voice actress

Christina Stevens, Writing Manager, Deluxe

Moderator Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President, Accessibility, Comcast

Seeing AI and new AI

Microsoft’s wildly popular Seeing AI is one of those apps that seems to do it all, from reading documents to recognizing people and things. These services are powered by Microsoft’s rapidly evolving cloud-based AI systems. How is Seeing AI progressing with these capabilities and what does the future hold for 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 aims to make it fairer for everyone

Smart home technology like Alexa has been one of the biggest boons in recent years for the blind and for people with disabilities in general. Voice technology and artificial intelligence are helping to empower people in many ways, but one obstacle stands in its way: becoming fair. In this session, hear from Amazon about how they are approaching the challenge ahead.

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

Josh Miele, Principal Accessibility Researcher, Amazon

Caroline Desrosiers, Founder & CEO, Scribely

Continue with Celeste

Rapid advances in phones, data networks and hardware miniaturization always seem to converge on the idea of ​​this highly useful, affordable, discreet accessory. Seleste plans to release a pair of tech glasses later this year that mark an important point in that journey.

Shubh Mittal, Founder, Celeste

Smit Patel, Co-Founder, Celeste

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

Continue with ARx

Like the Celeste, the ARx is a newly launched device designed to take advantage of the technology platforms that surround everyday life with a private, barely visible head-mounted device. Both Celeste and ARx leaders will discuss what they learned while developing and testing their devices.

Charles Leclerq, CEO, ARx Vision

Moderator, Lucy Greco, e-accessibility specialist and consultant

What’s next with StellarTrek

Where Seleste and ARx are newcomers to assistive devices, Humanware is a well-respected, established player whose new StellarTrek also takes strong advantage of technology advances, but also part ways with newcomers in terms of technology architecture and form factors .

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

Peter Tucic, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Humanware

Moderator, Sam Proulx, Accessibility Evangelist, Myth

The problems with artificial intelligence

Despite the amazing advances in artificial intelligence over the last decade, the so-called “deep learning” artificial intelligence technology prevailing today has underestimated limitations and even poses societal risks. Our speakers are world-renowned AI experts and AI “dissenters” who believe we need an AI that is both more responsible and more capable of producing common sense outcomes.

David Ferrucci, Founder & CEO, Elemental Cognition

Gary Marcus, Founder and Executive Chairman, Robust AI

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

Has Computer Vision AI Just Got Worse or Better?

The ability of assistive technology devices to recognize objects, faces and scenes is a type of artificial intelligence called Computer Vision, which requires the creation of huge databases of human-labeled images to train AI algorithms. A new technique called “one-shot learning” learns dramatically faster because the AI ​​is trained on images from around the Internet. No human supervision needed. Is a good idea;

Danna Gurari, Asst. Professor, Founding Director, Computer Imaging & Video group, University of Colorado Boulder

Moderator, Cecily Morrison, Principal Researcher, 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 came away with several accessibility courses and features that will help Waymo’s autonomous routes better serve people with disabilities. The Waymo team is still processing everything it learned.

Lauren Schwendimann, UX Design Lead & Manager, Waymo

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

Moderator, Mike May, Chief Evangelist, Goodmaps

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

We are grateful to current sponsors iSenpai, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, Humanware, Microsoft, Ford, Fable, APH and Waymo. If you would like to sponsor the event, please contact us. All proceeds from sponsorships go to the nonprofit Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which has been serving the Silicon Valley community for 75 years.

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