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The University of Southampton
The Alan Turing Institute

AI and Inclusion Challenge Seminar Event

AI and Inclusion
22 November 2019
The Jack Good room of The Alan Turing Institute, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.

Event details

Professor Mike Wald will present and discuss his work on a new AI and Inclusion Challenge, that will help the Turing Institute fulfil its mission to change the world for the better, and we will discuss how this new Challenge synergises with existing Turing Challenges.

To support the Institute's statement that 'promoting and embedding equality, diversity and inclusion is integral to achieving our mission'  the research question addressed by this proposed new Challenge is 'how can AI overcome barriers to inclusion'

Of the nine protected characteristics identified by the Equality Act 2010, AI would appear to have the greatest potential to help overcome barriers to inclusion for disabled people in terms of practical strategies for digital accessibility and assistive technology support.

Examples of how innovative uses of AI can support those with disabilities include:  

  • Image and video description, independent navigation (vision);
  • Captioning for words sounds and emotions, sign language translation, adaptive hearing aids (hearing);
  • Symbol generation communication and translation, speech synthesis (communication);
  • Text summarization and simplification (cognition);
  • Smart monitoring and support (care);
  • Web accessibility checking and correction (all)

Disabled people need to be involved in the design of Assistive or Augmentative Intelligence for ‘edge cases/outliers’ and as Disability is not a single homogeneous characteristic, algorithms need to work for all disabilities in the multitude of different settings and situations in which people find themselves and this also applies to ethical and fairness issues related to data gathering and algorithms affecting protected characteristics.

If you’d like to come and are not Turing-affiliated, please email Aida Mehonic

Speaker information

Professor Mike Wald,University of Southampton,Prof Mike Wald leads research into accessible technologies in the Web and Internet Science Group, ECS. He has advised HEFCE, JISC and Universities on enhancing learning through the use of technologies and established the University's DSA assessment centre and the Disability and Assistive Technology Services of 7 Universities in the South of England. He was a founder member of the International Liberated Learning Consortium that included other leading universities (e.g. MIT) and organisations (e.g. IBM, Nuance) investigating how speech recognition could make teaching and learning more accessible. His research led to the development of Synote to make video easier to access, search, manage, and exploit by supporting the creation of synchronised notes, bookmarks, tags, images, links and text captions.

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