Sight Tech Global 2022 Agenda Announced


The third annual Sight Tech Global conference, a virtual, free and very accessible event on December 7 and 8 will bring together some of the world’s best experts working on assistive technology, especially AI, for people who are blind or partially sighted. If you’re not following this topic, maybe you should, because over the years a lot of advanced technology – think OCR and NLP – was initially developed with the blind in mind, and moved from there to more mainstream use. . Register today!

At this year’s event, we’ll have sessions with the makers of several new devices to help with vision, and we’ll talk about the technology architecture decisions that led to balancing capacity with cost and leveraging existing platforms. .

We’ll also be taking our first look at accessibility in VR, which is an area of ​​great concern because if/when VR takes off in the entertainment and business world, it’s vital that sightless people have access the way they do. do today on smartphones and computers thanks to screen readers like JAWS, VoiceOver, and NVDA.

Our third major programming language is about AI itself. There’s no shortage of hype about AI’s capabilities, and it’s important to get back to that by discussing some serious limitations and flaws in the way today’s AI works for people with disabilities, not to mention humanity in general. At the same time, AI is arguably the best core technology ever for sightless people. For all these reasons, understanding AI is vital for the future of anyone with disabilities. Don’t forget to register today!

And before you flip through this awesome agenda, for technologists, designers and product people working on earth-shattering assistive technology, we’re hosting a small in-person event on December 9 with assistive technology workshops, many of which are on the agenda by the same celebrities. . Interested? Contact us.

Here’s the calendar. Visit the Sight Tech Global calendar page to see times and more.

The Dynamic Tactile Device: That “Sacred Braille” for Education is Near

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

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Greg Stilson, Head of Global Innovation, APH

Moderator: Devin Coldewey, Writer and Photographer, TBEN

The DOT Pad: How the Bible and Smartphone Speaker Technology Inspired a Breakthrough

For decades, engineers have been working on a braille display that can display tactile graphics and multi-line braille. DOT Pad may have cracked the code with an innovative approach to generating dynamic fields from Braille pins, triggered by smart integrations combined with existing technologies, such as Apple’s VoiceOver. Eric Kim and Ki Sung will also lead a breakout session for participants who want to learn more.

Eric Ju Yoon Kim Co-Founder/CEO DOT

Ki Kwang Sung Co-Founder/CEO DOT

Moderator: Devin Coldewey Writer and Photographer TBEN

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 everyone. This panel will explore the challenges that current virtual and augmented reality tools create for people who are blind or visually impaired. The panelists will share their experiences using immersive technologies and explore how these tools can be used to unlock employment opportunities in hybrid and 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: Cosmonious High by Owlchemy Lab

For developers of virtual reality games, there’s every reason to experiment with accessibility from the get-go, which the Owlchemy Labs team did with Cosmonious High, the 2022 release of a fun first-person game set in an intergalactic high school that takes a reviewer said, “has all the charm and boldness of a good Nickelodeon kids show.” And it reveals some of the earliest approaches to accessibility in VR.

Peter Galbraith, Accessibility Engineer II, Owlchemy Labs

Jazmin Cano, Accessibility II Product Manager, Owlchemy Labs

Moderator James Rath, filmmaker, accessibility advocate and gamer

Audio Description the Pixar Way

AI-driven, synthetic audio description may have a place in some forms of accessible video content, but the artistry of the fully human-produced audio descriptions that Pixar produces for its productions sets a creative standard that no AI will ever achieve, and that’s all for good. Meet members of the Pixar team behind excellence in audio descriptions.

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Eric Pearson, Home Entertainment Supervisor, Pixar

Anna Capezzera, Director, Audio description Operations, Deluxe

Laura Post, voice actress

Christina Stevens, Writing Manager, Deluxe

Moderator Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President, Accessibility, Comcast

See AI and the new AI

Microsoft’s hugely popular Seeing AI is one of the apps that seems to do it all, from reading documents to recognizing people and things. Those services are made possible by Microsoft’s rapidly advancing cloud-based AI systems. How is Seeing AI progressing with those capabilities and what’s next 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 wants to make it fairer for everyone

Smart home technology, such as Alexa, has been one of the greatest blessings for the blind and those with disabilities in recent years. Speech technology and AI help people empower themselves in many ways, but one obstacle stands in its way: to justify it. Learn how they tackle the challenge ahead in this session from Amazon.

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

Josh Miele, lead researcher accessibility, Amazon

Caroline Desrosiers, Founder and CEO, Scribely

Hands on with Seleste

Rapid advances in telephones, data networks and hardware miniaturization always seem to converge on the concept of that super-convenient, affordable, unobtrusive tool. Seleste plans to launch later this year with tech goggles that will mark a key waypoint on that journey.

Shubh Mittal, Founder, Seleste

Smit Patel, co-founder, Seleste

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

Hands on with ARx

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

Charles Leclerq, CEO, ARx Vision

Moderator, Lucy Greco, Electronic Accessibility Expert and Advisor

What’s the future with StellarTrek

Where Seleste and ARx are new entrants to tools, Humanware is a highly respected, established player whose new StellarTrek also takes powerful advantage of technological advancements, but also bids farewell to the newcomers when it comes to technology architecture and form factors.

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Louis-Philippe Massé, Vice President Product Innovation and Technologies, Humanware

Peter Tucic, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Humanware

Moderator, Sam Proulx, Accessibility Evangelist, Fable

The problems with AI

Despite the stunning advances in AI over the past decade, the so-called “deep learning” AI technology prevalent today has undervalued limitations and even poses societal dangers. Our speakers are world-renowned AI experts and AI “dissidents” who believe we need an AI that is both more responsible and better able to produce common sense results.

David Ferrucci, Founder and 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 gotten worse or better?

The ability of assistive tech devices to recognize objects, faces, and scenes is a type of AI called Computer Vision, which calls for building huge databases on images tagged by humans to train AI algorithms. A new technique called “one-shot learning” learns significantly faster because the AI ​​trains itself on images on the web. No human supervision required. Is that a good idea?

Danna Gurari, Asst. Professor, Founding Director, Image & Video Computing Group, University of Colorado Boulder

Moderator, Cecily Morrison, Principal Investigator, Microsoft Research Cambridge

What Waymo learned during the DOT Inclusive Design Challenge

Waymo participated in the US Department of Transportation Inclusive Design Challenge and came forward with numerous accessibility lessons and features that will help Waymo’s autonomous rides provide better service to people with disabilities. Waymo’s team is still processing everything they’ve learned.

Lauren Schwendimann, UX Design Lead & Manager, Waymo

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

Moderator, Mike May, Lead 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 sponsorship proceeds will go to the nonprofit Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which has served the Silicon Valley community for 75 years.