NOVA LINCS Influential Seminar "AI for Accessibility" by Chieko Asakawa (IBM Research)


Chieko Asakawa

IBM Research

14:00 | May 29th 2019 | Location: Auditorium 1D, Building VII - FCT NOVA


AI for Accessibility

Technologies have helped create independence and opportunities for people with disabilities to actively participate in society. 

For example, voice-based Web access allowed the blind to obtain virtually unlimited amount of information by themselves and smartphones have defined completely new ways of engaging with day-to-day activities. 

In the era of AI and IoT, location-based information from the Web can be utilized to provide rich context regarding the surrounding world to people without vision. 

In this talk, I will analyze central trends in the history of accessibility and discuss its relevance to my latest work in real-world accessibility. 

Throughout the talk, I will emphasize how AI can help improve the quality of lives for people with visual impairments.


Dr. Chieko Asakawa short bio:

Chieko Asakawa is an IBM Fellow working in the area of accessibility.

Her initial contribution in the area started from braille digitalization and moved onto the Web accessibility, including the world first practical voice browser.

Today, Chieko is focusing on advancing cognitive assistant research to help the blind regain information by augmenting missing or weakened abilities in the real world by the power of AI.

In 2013, the government of Japan awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon to Chieko for her outstanding contributions to accessibility research.

She was elected as a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2017, and inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) in 2019.

She has been also serving as an IBM Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University since 2014.