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Microsoft's new app uses AI to help the visually impaired identify their surroundings

Tyrone Stewart

Microsoft Seeing AIMicrosoft has released an AI app that helps the visually impaired by describing the objects around them by simply holding their phone’s camera in the direction of what needs identifying.

Seeing AI is a free app that lets users point their phone toward anything – whether it’s a person, pieces of text, documents, currency, products in shops, or more – and describes precisely what that thing is. The app, which Microsoft first unveiled a prototype for at last year’s Build developer conference, can even make a judgement on the emotion a person is feeling from their facial expression in shot.

The app is currently only available on iOS in the US. There is no word on if it will make its way to Android or other countries as yet.

Microsoft’s latest release adds to the concerted effort the company is making in the field of AI. It coincides with the launch of its $2m AI for Earth program, which intends to supply AI solutions to environmental issues.

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