Facebook For The Blind: Facebook Blind Engineer Matt King Will Change The Face Of Social Media


Facebook for the blind, how? Meet Matt King, the first Facebook blind engineer. He joined the social media giant in June and for a good cause. King will change the way we use social media, especially for the visually impaired. Everyday, over one billion people visit Facebook to check on family, friends and colleagues. They want to know what is happening within their circle and around the world. Visually impaired people need to be updated too. Hence, King’s joining Facebook is no coincidence. It is a concerted effort to provide people with visual limitations the joy of social media. King is part of the accessibility team of Facebook. And his unique condition gives him the edge for this post. He is one of the foremost engineers in Silicon Valley with the skill to work on artificial intelligence and first-hand experience of blindness. Mark Zuckerberg Launches VR Tech: Is It a Glimpse of Miserable Future?Like us on Facebook King was born legally blind but it did not stop him from achieving his goals and exceeding expectations. It was not a limitation for him. Rather, blindness is an opportunity to strive better and succeed. Looking back, King remembered, “I didn’t want the label of ‘blind’ because, like a lot of people, I didn’t know what it meant really. I just associated it with all kinds of negative concepts. I didn’t know that you could be both blind and smart. That sounds so stupid to me when I say it now. It sounds literally ludicrous. It was a different time.” Through King’s ‘vision’, Facebook launched an AI-powered tool on its applications to help blind users see Facebook. This technology is groundbreaking in social media. Facebook calls it ‘automatic alternative text’. On Tuesday, April 5, Facebook released an official statement announcing the new technology. It said that “automatic alternative text, or automatic alt text, is a new development that generates a description of a photo using advancements in object recognition technology. People using screen readers on iOS devices will hear a list of items a photo may contain as they swipe past photos on Facebook.” Initially, this is available for iOS users. More updates are coming soon. Photo: Bullseye/PRNews