by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator
Another thought came to mind this afternoon, while I was working on entering names into a database.
A number of artificial intelligence programs are in the works now, designed to do everything from chatting, to saving appointments, to telling jokes.
This made me wonder…would any of these programs be helpful for people with certain disabilities?
Now, keep in mind…these computers are a long way from say, HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey or C3P0 in Star Wars. Nevertheless, they can be engaging and even funny at times; I especially wondered if they might help individuals with autism.
One of the programs I’m familiar with is called “Ultra Hal,” and is available as an app on Facebook, or at Zabaware, who produce all sorts of AI software. Their “Ultra Hal Assistant” is capable of quite a few things; however, it’s hard to say whether someone with various disabilities would be interested in it or not. It may largely depend on the individual, just as with anyone else.
There is another “intelligent” bot that can be found at ALICEBOT, named, of course, A.L.I.C.E. It’s also capable of holding fairly intelligent conversations, and possibly more, depending on which version you download.
I do know that the Zabaware company also produces a text-to-speech reader, which definitely can be helpful for people with disabilities (and in fact, has already been used for this purpose). The program also assists with speed reading, so it could be helpful for someone working in disability support as well, especially when there’s lots of new information to learn.
So, of course, just a random thought that I figured worth sharing. Any feedback on this? I’d love to hear it.