The Blind Woman Developing Tech for the Good of Others

By

An accident in a swimming pool left Chieko Asakawa blind at the age of 14. For the past three decades she's worked to create technology - now with a big focus on artificial intelligence (AI) - to transform life for the visually impaired. "When I started out there was no assistive technology," Japanese-born Dr Asakawa said. "I couldn't read any information by myself. I couldn't go anywhere by myself." Those "painful experiences" set her on a path of learning that began with a computer science course for blind people, and a job at IBM soon followed. She started her pioneering work on accessibility at the firm, while also earning her doctorate. Dr. Asakawa is behind early digital Braille innovations and created the world's first practical web-to-speech browser. Those browsers are commonplace these days, but 20 years ago, she gave blind internet users in Japan access to more information than they'd ever had before. Click here to read her story from BBC News.