Google Chrome Launches AI-based Feature To Describe Images For Low-Vision Users

Jyotis - Oct 12, 2019


Google Chrome Launches AI-based Feature To Describe Images For Low-Vision Users

Google has recently developed a machine learning-based feature for its browser Chrome, which can detect images and provide text descriptions for the displayed content.

For those who suffer from visual impairment or blindness, surfing the Internet or using web browsers like Google Chrome seems to be an impossible mission. If website developers label images by leveraging alt text, it is another story because users can make use of Braille displays or screen readers to “see” what the browser shows.

Google-chrome
Google has developed a machine learning-based feature for its browser Chrome.

In a bid to tackle this issue, Google has recently developed a machine learning-based feature for its browser Chrome. This feature can detect images and provide text descriptions for the displayed content. The similar technology was also applied to help users look for images via keywords. In addition, the image’s description is automatically created.

According to Laura Allen, "The unfortunate state right now is that there are still millions and millions of unlabeled images across the web. When you're navigating with a screen reader or a Braille display, when you get to one of those images, you'll actually just basically hear 'image' or 'unlabeled graphic,' or my favorite, a super long string of numbers which is the file name, which is just totally irrelevant." Allen now serves as a program manager on a team of Chrome accessibility engineers. The things low-vision users are facing is what she is suffering from. In fact, she is one of them.

To get more about this new feature, Google gives an example as follows: “Appears to be fruits and vegetables at the market” to explain an image showing a market stall. In the description, the phrase “appears to be” is used to indicate that there may be errors in the content given by a computer.

Google-Chrome-blind-users
Users can make use of Braille displays or screen readers to “see” what the browser shows.

Google aims to provide this new feature for Chrome users who use Braille or screen readers. The descriptions of these images will be spoken out loud by screen readers, instead of displaying directly on the screen.

Here are the steps to activate this feature on Google Chrome: Users need to access Settings -> Go to Advanced -> Access the “Accessibility” section -> Turn “Get image description from Google” on. In addition, users can right-click, access the context menu, and choose “Get Image Descriptions from Google” to turn the feature on single web pages.

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