The General Idea
For those of you who don’t know, this site is mostly about my goal of becoming a blind photographer. I decided that the first step I should take was to train myself to interact with pictures. Places like Twitter are rich with pictures of all kinds, and I always spent my energy ignoring them unless they had descriptions, an occurrence that is rare going on nonexistent. It is one of those situations where the world wasn’t going to change unless I did. So, just in case you missed my blurb about it on the home page, I began using Seeing AI to analyze pictures.
I almost Overdid It
Let’s face it, folks. Not every picture that gets posted on social media is interesting, just like not every chicken strip is nice and crispy. After fifty or sixty selfies, cat pics, memes, etc., the process of analyzing each picture gets BORING!!! If you’re one of the people whose selfies I ran cross, don’t take it personally. I just overdid things, and analyzing pics went from being a fun thing to do on a Saturday afternoon to something a little too close to working in a processing center. If I was going to keep working toward my goal, I needed to make sure I had a reason to keep going. That reason, as it turns out, is the same one that encourages people to share pictures in the first place–the social benefits of sharing your experiences.
Building an Interactive Road to That First Milestone
At the same time I decided to start this thing, I was also becoming involved with Mastodon, another microblogging service. I could go on and on about the differences between it and Twitter, but the main one is that the culture on Mastodon supports every kind of social group you can imagine, including but not limited to aspiring blind photographers. The process was simple. I requested that people could send me pics, I would analyze them, and try to guess what the picture was. If I got it right, everyone went away happy. If not, the person had to tell me what the picture was, and then we could have a good laugh over the errors of computers. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last month or so. That, and programming friends into my camera for future use, a process I will describe in a future post. For now, I’m continuing to interact with people and their pics, and it has two results. First, it keeps me interacting with photos, and keeps me engaged. Second, it raises awareness of how AI helps people, and gives people an idea of how to describe their pictures when they post them, a topic I will also cover in a future post.
What’s the Next Step?
The next step is to get myself used to incorporating emojis into my self-expression. A picture is worth a thousand words, and emojis are just little pictures, aren’t they? Maybe I’ll write an entire post in emojis.