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ALT AI: Using AI-generated image descriptions to make the internet more accessible

by Hannah Bradridge29 March 2023 2 Min Read

At the end of 2022 we ran an internal hackathon, and the winning project was a Chrome Extension called ALT AI, which uses off-the-shelf AI tools to automatically generate missing Alt text captions.

Since then, we've been busy building a V1 of ALT AI. The extension is still very much in its testing phase and we would love to hear what people who use screen readers think about it.

How does it work?

The ALT AI chrome plugin adds Alt text to any page on the internet; updating Alt text that is either missing or inaccurate. Screen readers will then read out the ALT AI-generated Alt text.

How can you help us test?

There are two ways you can get involved with our testing: 

👉 Download ALT AI from the Chrome store. And use this google form to provide feedback.

👉 Take part in a 30-min user interview. Leave your email in this google form and we'll get back to you. We offer a £30 voucher for your time. 

A work in progress

One of the first things we realised when we started building ALT AI was how bad the Alt text descriptions were on our site. Since then, we've been going through our website and updating all the dodgy image descriptions we find. This is still an ongoing project for us, but one that we're committed to getting up to scratch.

We know there's always more to learn, and more we can do to keep improving the accessibility of our website.

That's why we set up Sky Marshalls a team of Planes dev's who regularly test our products to gather scores on:

⭐️ Performance
The starting point indicator for how sustainable a website is.

⭐️ Accessibility
The base level of accessibility for people using assistive technology on our projects.

These scores are based on LightHouse scores (mobile) so are not representative of the full picture, but over time, the Sky Marshall's team are hoping to develop our scoring so it takes into account the real world effect of our products (thinking about number of users etc).

For now, we have a scoring document for all our projects, with recommendations for how products can be improved.

Let's chat

We're big on feedback, because it's one of the best ways to help people thrive and grow 🌱

If you'd like to get in touch with us about ALT AI, or the accessibility of our website, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch with Charlie,

Helping make Planes famous AKA shouting about all the cool things the team know & do ✨
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