AI and the future of Web accessibility Guidelines

I think much of our work is not forward-looking.   

We will soon have AI that can do a better job of text alternatives than humans can for example.     
And then it is unclear why we would require authors to do all this work.    
This applies to a LOT of things.   

I think maybe we should be considering a new structure to our requirements 

Need:  When people cannot see a picture clearly or at all - it is important that they be able to percieve the information presented in the picture by having it presented in another form such as text, speech or braille.  If it is in e-text it can be easily converted into any sensory form  (visual text, speech, braille or sign).

Outcome:  Where the publicly available AI is not able to generate a [good] text alternative for pictures, then an author-generated text alternative is provided.

This does contain the word [good] since we don’t want this to apply before it is ready —  and it certainly is not ready today.
but I would bet even money (or 3 to 1 money) that before WCAG 3 is out — autogenerated text alternatives will be better than 80%-90% of humans in a controlled test of humans vs AI in describing pictures.   Even the intent of pictures  (though sighted people have only the picture to guess the intent from so it is not clear why blind people can’t guess the intent).   ALSO  - auto-descriptions can provide layered descriptions — and even queryable descriptions. 

Picture of woman playing voilin
Woman is seated and wearing formal gown
woman has darker skintone, black hair worn long and appears to be around 30-40 years old
Query - what kind of formal dress?
Query  - what kind of chair
Query - tell me more about their hairstyle
Query - tell me more about the backgound of he picture

the queryable alternatives are already possible today — and I’m not sure if the AI won’t be better than 80-90 of image describers by next year

We really need to think about what we are doing —  what we want to achieve — and the best way to get there.

If browser mfgrs added these capabilities to their browsers - the cost to add the capability may be less than the costs saved by of JUST THEIR OWN web authors  at their companies — much less the costs saved across all companies. 

We need to talk and think


Received on Thursday, 4 April 2024 07:02:53 UTC