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App adopts OpenAI as digital assistant for the blind



Be My Eyes has announced the first-ever digital visual assistant powered by OpenAI’s new GPT-4 language model.

The Virtual Volunteer tool integrates OpenAI’s latest generative AI technology, with the goal of providing an unprecedented level of accessibility to people who are blind or have low vision.

Be My Eyes allows anyone to assist visually impaired people via live video calls.

Through the app, volunteers assist blind and low-vision users through a live video connection, working together to tackle challenges and handle a wide range of tasks.

Mike Buckley, CEO of Be My Eyes, said:

“We are entering the next wave of innovation for accessibility technology powered by AI.

“This new Be My Eyes feature will be transformative in providing people who are blind or have low vision with powerful tools to better navigate physical environments, address everyday needs, and gain more independence.”

The Virtual Volunteer feature will be integrated into the existing app and features a new image-to-text generator powered by GPT-4.

Users can send images via the app to an AI-powered Virtual Volunteer, which will answer any question about the image and provide instantaneous, conversational visual assistance for a wide variety of tasks.

Virtual Volunteer provides highly nuanced explanations and conversational abilities.

For example, if a user sends a picture of the inside of their refrigerator, the Virtual Volunteer will not only be able to correctly identify the items within, but also extrapolate and analyse what can be prepared with those ingredients.

The tool can also then offer various recipes for those ingredients and send a step-by-step guide to prepare them.

Buckley added:

“We are thrilled to work with OpenAI to further our mission of improving accessibility for the 253 million people who are blind or have low-vision, with safe and accessible applications of generative AI.”

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