Sight Tech Global 2021 Day Two (December 2): The Second Five Sessions

Sight Tech Global is a virtual event that features conversation with the top technologists working on AI and other advanced technologies to advance accessibility and assistive tech for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Day Two Sessions:

Why Amazon’s Vision Includes Talking Less to Alexa
As homes become increasingly more technology-driven, inputs from multiple sources — teachable AI, multimodal understanding, sensors, computer vision and more — will create a truly ambient, surround experience. Already, one in every five Alexa smart home interactions is initiated by Alexa without any spoken command. As Alexa develops an understanding of us and our home well enough to predict our needs and act on our behalf in meaningful ways, what are the implications for accessibility?

Beatrice Geoffrin, Director of Alexa Trust, Amazon
Dr. Prem Natarajan, Vice President of Alexa AI, Amazon

Inventors Invent: Three New Takes on Assistive Technology
Inventors have long been inspired to apply their genius to helping blind people. Think of innovators like Mike Shebanek (VoiceOver, Apple) or Jim Fruchterman (Bookshare, Benetech), to name just two. Today, innovators have a nearly miraculous array of affordable technologies to work with, including lidar, computer vision, high-speed data networks and more. As a result, innovation is moving ahead at a dizzying pace. In this session, we will talk to three product innovators on the forefront of turning those core technologies into remarkable new tools for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Cagri Hakan Zaman, Co-founder of Mediate and SuperSense
Kürşat Ceylan, Co-founder, WeWalk Technology
Louis-Philippe Massé, Director of Product Management, HumanWare
Moderator: Ned Desmond, Executive producer and founder, Sight Tech Global

Product Accessibility: How Do You Get it Right? And How Do You Know When You Have?
Accessibility awareness is on the rise, but even teams with the best of intentions can flounder when it comes to finding the right approaches. One key is to work closely with the appropriate communities of users to get feedback and understand needs. The result is not trade-offs but a better product for everyone. In this session, we’ll hear from experts on the frontline of accessibility in product development.

Christine Hemphill, Founder and Managing Director, Open Inclusion
Alwar Pillai, Co-founder and CEO, Fable
Sukriti Chadha, Product Manager, Spotify
OIiver Warfield, Senior Product Manager for Accessibility
Brian Fischler, Commissioner, All Blind Fantasy Football League; stand-up comedian
Moderator: Larry Goldberg, Head of Accessibility, Yahoo

For Most Mobile Phone Users, Accessibility Is Spelled Android
Nearly three-quarters of mobile phone users in the world use phones built on Google’s Android operating system, not Apple’s iOS on the iPhone. For people who are blind or have low vision, the key app is Google’s Lookout, which draws on the vast resources of Google’s AI infrastructure, including its computer vision database and Google maps. How is Google approaching the huge accessibility opportunity Lookout represents?

Eve Andersson, Director of Accessibility, Google
Andreina Reyna, Senior Software Engineer, Google
Warren Carr, Blind Android User Podcast

Getting around: Autonomous Vehicles, Ridesharing and Those Last Few Feet
Summoning a ride from a smart phone is a dream come true for many, but when you have difficulty finding that ride, even when it’s a few feet away, the experience can be a nightmare, not to mention dangerous. How are rideshare and autonomous taxi companies working to make those last few feet from rider to car safer and better for blind and low-vision riders?

Kerry Brennan, UX Research Manager, Waymo
Marco Salsiccia, Accessibility Evangelist, Lyft
Eshed Ohn-Bar, Assistant Professor, Boston University
Moderator: Bryan Bashin, CEO, LightHouse, San Francisco
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