Brilliant Labs Magazine: Digital Hope

Page 39

an app that I’ve been working on with one of our Deaf coders, Imran, (we want to show that the idea came from a Deaf person) - the Sign2Word AI app (https:// website). The app aims to help young deaf learners improve their literacy skills and have a better experience in education. The user will be able to sign a word into their mobile camera and the app would translate it into written English. A team of 5 YCMers joined up to submit the idea to the Nesta Longitude Explorer prize. Nisha, Mutsa, Thomas and Malakia formed the team with us. Imran had to remain as our Product client as he was just over the age limit for the competition. This time we failed to even make the top 5 - to add insult to injury, there was a cash prize of

£25,000. You can imagine the indescribable failure I felt on this second one. I decided never to enter a competition ever, ever again. Now I’ve got the shame bit out of the way, let's talk about what I learnt because that actually far outweighs those negative experiences. And I am now a lot further along the journey to getting our Sign2Word app developed in a way that will benefit the Deaf community. Lessons Learnt Of course, all that effort hasn’t gone to waste. Firstly, the hackathon exposed me to some amazing AI speakers including Alejandro Saucedo (https://, Gretchen Greene (https:// watch?v=v09jG_ar2NI) and Dr Allison Gardner (https:// watch?v=Knva2te938E). Their talks were really enjoyable and informative, with a particular focus on ethics: Alejandro Saucedo talked about the Institute for Ethical AI’s ‘Eight Ethical Principles’ for all AI technology; Gretchen Greene focused in on the importance of transparency when collecting data and the dangers of a surveillance state; Dr Allison Gardener reinforced the significance of developing privacy by design apps, ensuring data is stored in decentralised locations, so users are able to give informed and meaningful consent and you only store necessary data.

The Sign2Word AI app aims to help young Deaf learners improve their literacy skills and have a better experience in education. The user can sign a word and the app will translate it into written English.

Brilliant Labs Magazine Revue Labos Créatifs