Microsoft will add the technology from its Seeing AI app for the visually impaired to Word and some other Microsoft products. This should make the programs more accessible for visually impaired people who cannot or only poorly read images and text.
The technology comes from Microsoft’s Seeing AI app, which has been available for iOS since 2017. This allows objects, people and documents to be scanned and described. Microsoft describes in a blog how the technique of recognizing and describing images has improved and can now be added to various Microsoft applications.
Many visually impaired accessibility software uses the alt attributes in an image. Here the administrator of a document or website can put a description of the image, which can then be picked up by the apps.
In many cases, the alt attributes are not added according to Microsoft, which makes using the software more difficult. That’s why there are several apps that use artificial intelligence (AI) to scan images and describe what’s on them.
The intention is that the functionality will come to various Microsoft products this year. Where Microsoft Word, Outlook and PowerPoint are the first to act.