AI’s problem with disability and diversity


In machine learning, the computer looks at data and creates patterns to help it understand the world. It predicts how things will act in the future, and then make decisions based on those predictions. One of the things holding back improving machine learning systems for people with disabilities and other outliers is the use of proprietary software.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.