In every image’s metadata, there is Alt text that describes its contents. People who are visually impaired can get a rough idea of the content of the photo by reading this text. The photographers usually ensure that they add these descriptions manually but people who upload photos to social media usually don’t bother. To make social media more accessible, technology has been used to automatically generate this data so visually impaired users could use social networks with ease.
An image analysis AI creates a caption for every picture that is posted to Instagram or Facebook. The new improved system is going to help visually impaired users access these sites just as easily as others. They might also help in accessing photos faster in the future. In 2016, Facebook had created its Automatic Alt Text system but since then the team has come up with a lot of improvements. The captions are now much more detailed and which makes them faster.
The new improved system now has 10 times more concepts and items than it used to have five years ago. The details in the descriptions are also increased significantly. The AI now keeps a detailed record of the positions of objects and the people. All of these details would be unnecessary for most users but they can be extremely important for visually impaired people who would need every little detail they can get. The new changes that have been introduced lately in the system are going to be game-changing for the future of Instagram and Facebook. More and more people will be able to access social networking sites who previously struggled to do so.
The shorter descriptions would be enough to give a rough idea of what the image shows. But if a sighted person needs more details, they can just click on the image to get a bigger version. However, the visually impaired needed something like that to help them understand the image better if the shorter description were a little vague. Just for that purpose, there is now a similar option for the visually impaired users who can choose the option to generate detailed image description command to get a longer caption that will explain all the other details of the image.
Although the new changes are exciting they won’t be introduced soon. The detailed description feature will be first tested by Facebook. After that, there are plans to introduce the new changes to Instagram. The description is going to be in easy language so that it can be translated into other languages with ease. The new features will likely take a little more time to be introduced in other countries but whenever they are rolled out for worldwide users they will help millions access social media like never before.