As one of the most significant technological advancements of the 21st century, AI is influencing various industries and its impact is vast. While the fear-mongering hype of humanity’s demise from AI is prevalent, so are the benefits of artificial intelligence — as long as humans maintain control of the machine.
As sectors across the board reimagine their workforce to optimize efficiency and growth, the use of AI to make the world more accessible for disabled individuals inspires companies like Ava to reinforce access utility and precision.
Across many industries, AI tools have proven to enhance means of communication and information-sharing, which can provide opportunities for disabled people to live more autonomously. With this new era of technology in rapid development, the gap between people with disabilities and those without disabilities continues to narrow.
Image Source: Leeway Hertz
Assistive technology such as voice assistants, text-to-speech tools and AI captions or speech-to-text transcription exist to advance accessibility — particularly for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people. For people living with disabilities, these AI advances are long-awaited and welcomed solutions.
Specifically, AI-powered transcriptions and mobile caption applications have transformed communication for both Deaf and hearing people, worldwide. Autonomous applications that can be accessed 24/7 levels out the playing field, and allows inclusion and equal opportunity where it did not exist before now.
AI Caption Impact Across Industries
Artificial intelligence — and the humans putting AI to work — continues to revolutionize access in every major sector, including: education, finance, healthcare, travel and communications. Below, we take a closer look at how speech-to-text transcription and AI caption technology is transforming a few of these industries.
The combination of growing demand for accessibility and the rapid advancement of AI technology has positioned transcription and live captioning as effective solutions for students seeking equal access to education and for educators looking to improve instruction.
Supporting evidence indicates that both transcription and captions impact learning outcomes, comprehension, as well as information retention. When presented with the option to use real-time captioning and transcripts, students with cognitive disabilities or learning difficulties can succeed in the same way as their classmates can. AI transcription and captioning allows students to read and review content at a comfortable pace, making it easier to learn and participate.
Image Source: Disrupting the Box
A study that surveyed 2,124 students further reinstates how transformative captions and interactive transcripts can be for students in a classroom setting:
- 71% of students without hearing difficulties use captions at least some of the time
- 66% of ESL students find captions "very" or "extremely" helpful
- 75% of students that use captions said they use them as a learning aid
- 52% of students that use captions said captions help as a learning aid by improving comprehension
- 15% of students don't know how to tell if a video has captions
Given the multitude of students, accommodation types, and different learning styles, it can be challenging for educators to create an accessible learning environment for all students. However, the introduction of AI transcription and captions is revolutionizing how teachers address these complex issues. With these tools educators can transcribe video lectures, audio notes, and other classroom or course materials quickly and accurately.
To assist students who are Deaf or non-native speakers, AI tools also provide real-time transcription so they can fully participate and remain engaged with course materials. Beyond helping those with neurodiversity or disabilities such as ADD, autism, or Deafness, AI transcriptions and captions benefit students without disabilities too. These tools can be used by anyone when:
- Audio is hard to hear because of a noisy or loud environment
- They are in quiet places where audio might cause disturbances or distractions
- Content is in a language an individual is unfamiliar with
- Audio where speech is too quiet, fast, or difficult to understand
Video Source: YouTube
AI innovations are breaking ground in academia and there’s no denying the speed at which change is happening. As new opportunities for better instruction and augmented learning experiences for students are introduced, the profound potential of AI for education is clear.
Accurate live captioning and transcription solutions are proving essential for students to access an equitable education. Understanding how critical these tools are to educational success, Ava created technology with the student experience in mind. Ava’s educational accommodation complies with federal accessibility laws and the ADA, and has a measured accuracy rate of 99%, even in cases of multiple speakers, heavy accents, or poor audio quality.
Finance & Banking
The financial and banking industry is another industry witnessing how AI transcription and captions are revolutionizing many areas of the sector, specifically for people with disabilities. Considering the broad range of disability, accessibility in regards to finance and banking can be riddled with obstacles. Clear communication in a fast-paced financial world can make these obstacles easier to overcome.
For people who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing or navigating additional disabilities, captions and transcription is a critical component for an equitable banking experience. Individuals who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing, or struggle with speech, cognitive, or learning disabilities rely on assistive tools that enhance communication. Understanding financial terms, products, and services can be challenging for anyone — disabled or not — which is why tools like captions can help with clarification.
Image Source: USM Systems
Transcribing audio or video content into written text often eliminates misunderstandings and miscommunications, so people with or without disabilities can access accurate information. Having assistive tools readily on hand is extremely helpful when dealing with sensitive financial information, such as account balances, transactions, or investment options. Additionally, AI transcription and captions reduce the need for individuals with disabilities to rely on others to assist them, promoting independence, autonomy and privacy.
Offering captioning and transcription tools is also the law. Financial and banking industries in the U.S. are required to comply with the ADA, which prevents discrimination against those with disabilities.
Ava encourages leaders in the banking or finance industry to lead with accessibility in order to best serve and support a diverse customer base. AI powered transcription and caption services such as Ava Scribe reduces communication barriers to advance the economic inclusion of people with disabilities. Empowering individuals with disabilities to take control of their finances, make informed decisions, and fully access services is a key mission of Ava — and one that we share with our accessibility allies in the financial sector.
Accessibility in the medical world is paramount. When it comes to healthcare, complex language, medical terminology and jargon can be hard for anyone to understand. And for people living with disabilities, the challenge is compounded. If there’s a misunderstanding or an error in communication, things can go wrong — very wrong.
Yes, doctors’ offices and hospitals can employ certified medical transcriptionists to be present for disabled individuals who need it, but doing so can result in a lack of privacy. Recent innovations have made it possible for people to use AI solutions so they can manage these sensitive scenarios, autonomously.
Introducing AI transcription and captions in the healthcare industry is essential for the following reasons:
- Continuity of care and communication between healthcare providers and their patients. Transcription and captioning solutions bridge the gap between laymen’s terms and ‘doctor lingo’.
- Improving the quality of patient care. Without accurate documentation from patient encounters, a patient’s care may be compromised leading to a mistake by the doctor due to a misunderstanding. Medical errors can be significantly reduced when transcriptions and captions are available.
- Saving time. Medical transcription assists doctors with note-taking. Speech-to-text transcription that is fast and accurate improves efficiency, so doctors and other healthcare providers can focus on the caretaking nuances that only humans can provide.
- Understanding heavy accents. A lot of medical professionals come from diverse backgrounds and not everyone is a native English speaker. In such instances, where listening to medical information may require some extra time to understand, AI powered transcription and captions are extremely helpful.
Image Source: HealthPlix
In addition to the obvious advantages that AI technologies make possible in the healthcare industry, all medical providers and offices should be aware of legal frameworks such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Both acts are designed to close the gap in healthcare accessibility and enhance inclusion. Unfortunately, even with these laws in place, people with disabilities continue to face challenges in the medical world.
Healthcare providers and organizations that integrate care options like AI transcription and captioning drive greater patient access. Without full accessibility, patients cannot receive optimal medical care, making it harder to establish relationships with their doctors and maintain their overall health and wellness.
With assistive technology such as Ava live captions, professionals in the healthcare industry have no excuse when it comes to ensuring access. Transcription technology helps patients access the medical details provided by health professionals. Ava captions are available on mobile devices, so patients do not miss a word during medical appointments.
Expanding the Playing Field for Disability
It is evident that AI transcription and caption solutions are transforming industries, worldwide. As artificial intelligence continues revolutionizing every sector of society, it is crucial to stay alert and up to speed with the changes that serve humanity in a positive way. Technology does much more than simply make aspects of life more convenient — it creates opportunities for disabled people that were once unattainable.
Challenges during the pandemic instigated a web accessibility initiative that led to web developers creating more accessible websites on the world wide web. Whether users were dealing with physical disabilities, mobility impairments, low vision or hearing loss, it became clear that certain operating systems were inaccessible. Web applications focused on usability and accessibility features such as captions for audio information that can deliver accuracy even with background noise drive inclusion and equity forward.
Assistive technologies designed to improve accessibility for web content, or enhance device independence change the game for online users with disabilities. For example, the instagram caption generator for instagram posts have helped Deaf influencers, like Matt Maxey of Deafinitely Dope promote their business and increase audience reach.
Many of the technologies initially designed for individuals with disabilities have now become ubiquitous and widely used by the world at-large. Image recognition, captions, chatbots, and self-driving vehicles are all AI advancements that can benefit everyone. And while the mission to make all online services and sites accessible has not reached its full potential, technology to improve overall access is surely trending in the right direction.