Instagram uses AI to make app accessible to visually impaired users

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Instagram will be more accessible to the visually impaired thanks to new changes the photo-sharing platform launched today.

“With more than 285 million people in the world who have visual impairments, we know there are many people who could benefit from a more accessible Instagram,” the company wrote on its Info Center page announcing two new tools.

Using object recognition technology, posts will generate alternative text with automatic descriptions of photos through a screen reader. This will work in Feed, Explore and Profile, Instagram said.

Instagram’s second feature allows the person posting to write their own alternative text during a photo upload. Like the app-generated text, this field will also activate when a person uses a screen reader.

The option for custom alternative text is under Advanced Settings at the bottom of the screen. Select Alt Text and write.

For more instructions on this feature, see Instagram’s Help Center page.

The company also said more features to make the app more accessible are in development.