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Since launching in 2015, Be My Eyes has supported blind and low-vision people by connecting them with human volunteers who help identify and interpret the physical world. The Danish organization is now set to take a giant leap by collaborating with OpenAI. Enter the Virtual Volunteer, a new feature within the Be My Eyes app that uses GPT-4's visual input capabilities to simulate a human volunteer.
Besides being able to serve many more people, Virtual Volunteer offers its users greater independence. No more waiting for a human helper to be available — the AI-powered tool provides detailed recognition and actionable insights almost instantaneously. Users might also feel comfortable presenting objects or contexts to a bot that they'd be reluctant to share with another person.
The app's usability extends to digital spaces, too. While traditional screen readers offer linear access to web content, GPT-4 can analyze and summarize online text, identifying essential information and simplifying tasks like scanning the news or shopping online. Following positive results from a small-scale beta test, the GPT-4-backed assistant is expected to roll out to Be My Eyes users in the coming weeks.
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