Why AI In Office Matters: Accessibility For All

AI in PowerPoint

Most people would probably not consider PowerPoint one of the sexier apps out there, with too many of us having experienced dying a slow death by presenters intent on reading to us every single word they’ve carefully crafted onto their decks!

However, I want to point out a small, but truly significant feature, in PowerPoint that I’ve highlighted above. I dragged the photo above of me sitting at desk with a model built in Minecraft:Education Edition in front of me (being projected onto the desk using Mixed Reality on Windows 10)

Using the power of the intelligent cloud, PowerPoint immediately (and automatically) added an “Alt Text” description to this image:

A person sitting at a table in front of a building

Furthermore, PowerPoint was very confident this was an accurate descriptor, including the line below the Alt Text “Description generated with high confidence”.

Why does this matter?

If you’re visually impaired this is a game changer. When your colleagues are quickly building out presentation decks in PowerPoint they will likely overlook adding Alt Text references for images (how many can honestly say they do this on even a semi-regular basis?). Now, however, any images that are added to PowerPoint will have these descriptions automatically generated allowing the Alt Text to be read aloud to a visually impaired person accessing the document providing greater meaning to them.

People often ask me how AI is going to impact our daily lives. This is a simple, yet powerful, example of how it is already at work enabling everyone to access their documents more meaningfully. This is powered by the Microsoft Computer Vision Cognitive Services and is available in the Office365 version of PowerPoint.

I am always keen to discuss what I've written and hear your ideas so leave a reply here...

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