Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The ESP Game

Image Labeling for Blind Helps Machines 'Think'

For the blind, the only solution is for each image to be labeled with an accurate description for the screen reader to say aloud. But few Web site designers do that.

That is why researchers are studying ways to tap the powers of the Web to have ordinary users label great numbers of images. Asking people to label image after image, however, is asking them to become bored quickly. To make it less tedious and more fun, Luis von Ahn, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has created the ESP Game.

Two random visitors to ESPGame.org are matched up and shown a random image, which they are asked to label. They cannot communicate. When both provide the same label, they win points. At the same time, computers are associating words with images, a valuable service for the blind.

This is just brilliant and moves us closer to the semantic web.

During the Clinton administration the federal government required all federal websites to be handicapped accessible. It is just a question of time before all American businesses are required to have accessible websites. Don’t wait for the government to hit you over the head. Be a good guy, adapt your website so it is accessible.

Note - I know Blogger blogs are not accessible. It is one of the many reasons I don’t like Blogger.

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