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Simple smartphone tech and deep AI help the blind “see”



THE FIRST TIME Mark Edwards used Aipoly Vision, he cried. Edwards, 56 and legally blind since birth, had signed up as an early tester for the app that helps visually impaired people “see” what’s around them. “When it immediately told me what was surrounding me, I was completely overcome with tears of joy,” he says.

Born out of Singularity University, a think tank in Moffett Field, California, Aipoly Vision combines recent advances in artificial intelligence with the technology found in an iPhone. The neural networks and deep learning algorithms that power it may be complex, but how it works is simple: Users point their phone at any day-to-day object, and the app speaks out what it is seeing.

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