AI and ML tools in OCI and their potential benefits for greater accessibility

January 24, 2024 | 5 minute read
Christopher Loiselle
Accessibility Technical Lead
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In the Accessibility Program Office (APO) at Oracle, we're always interested in cutting edge technology available to increase the accessibility of our products. Oracle University offers a certificate course, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) 2023 AI Foundations Associate, that’s well worth your time and effort.

OCI AI Foundations Associate certificate

At a high level, this course allows you to learn more about common artificial intelligence (AI) terminology, machine learning (ML), deep learning, data science, and neural networks. As you progress through the learning path, you can understand more about Oracle’s AI services and infrastructure. Oracle learning provides an easy-to-follow, chapter-based course with skill checks that test your comprehension along the path. These skill checks are a great way to reinforce the learning provided throughout the chapters.

When you’ve consumed the AI foundations, ML foundations, and deep learning chapters, you can progressively learn more about generative AI and large language models (LLM). When you’re familiar with the terminology and innerworkings of how all these parts work to develop the whole, you can view a presentation of OCI’s AI portfolio with demos of the Oracle Cloud Console. These videos provide snippets of how the user can implement these services at a high level. Oracle offers features that can be tremendously beneficial to accessibility, and these AI services are available to review by visiting the OCI AI Services page.

How OCI AI Services help accessibility

Within the course, you can study the OCI Digital Assistant and understand how developers can create experiences for business applications through text, chat, and voice interfaces. This feature allows you to accomplish tasks through natural language conversations.

Instances in an example compartment in the Oracle Cloud Console 

For the APO at Oracle thinking holistically about accessibility, realize the ability to harness the features of the OCI Speech service in OCI AI is exciting, and enabling videos to be converted to a text-based media alternative has even more potential.

OCI Speech also allows for integrated transcription, which alleviates the need for third-party transcription services. This integration helps teams complete these tasks in-house and save money they’d spend externally. The service also includes SRT file closed caption support. With closed captioning, Speech also has native multilanguage support.

A product or service can also use the features of OCI Language in various ways. You can use language extraction to help deconstruct large complex texts into important ideas and high-level analysis, which can help users with cognitive disabilities. You can also use the features of this OCI service to translate text. The Oracle Cloud Console uses state-of-the-art neural machine translation to translate text to various languages.

OCI Language service features in the Console

OCI Vision allows for image analysis at scale. You can also use the service to increase the description and classification of images.

OCI Vision in the Console

OCI Document Understanding is an AI service that enables developers to extract text, tables, and other key data from document files through APIs and command line interface tools.

OCI Document Understanding features and resources in the Console

Oracle Guardian AI Open Source Project

Oracle recently released the Oracle Guardian AI Open Source Project on GitHub, which is a library consisting of tools to assess unintended bias and privacy of ML models and datasets. The Fairness module offers tools to help developers assess unintended bias present in their datasets and models. Oracle doesn’t define fairness for developers but instead provides tools for statistical measurement and optimization. Available in Guardian AI, the Privacy Estimation module helps estimate potential leakage of sensitive information in the training data by measuring the success of a variety of attacks on ML models.

The Guardian AI GitHub page

World Wide Web Consortium accessibility guidelines

Oracle is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and coleads the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group. The W3C develops standards and guidelines to help everyone build a web based on the principles of accessibilityinternationalizationprivacy and security.

W3C web page

Looking forward

The future is here, and it’s embedded into the culture at Oracle. Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications already uses various degrees of automation and AI in its processes. Oracle is investigating the potential to improve accessibility across all our product lines, along with our peers in the industry, to harness AI’s potential to make technology even more accessible to all.

Oracle builds products on standards developed by international organizations and industry consortia. Oracle participates and collaborates on these standards, along with many others on our public facing page, Standards at Oracle. The projects in these standards bodies address a variety of aspects of AI systems: bias and fairness, human oversight, explainability and transparency, risk management, privacy, and security. Participating and contributing to these standards is a way that the industry can advance technical harmonization and support market access. As the industry forges ahead in AI and ML, the opportunities are endless in terms of incorporating accessibility into products at Oracle and working with our industry peers at large to harness the technology for good.

If you’re not learning about AI and ML in your career, you’re falling behind! Check out the Oracle University certificate program. The course can help you to learn more about AI terminology, machine learning, deep learning, data science, and neural networks. Upon completion, you can also understand more about Oracle’s AI services and infrastructure.

For more information about Oracle and AI, see the following resources:

Christopher Loiselle

Accessibility Technical Lead

Chris Loiselle is a Technical Contributing member of the Accessibility Program Office at Oracle. His role focused on representing all Oracle products and technologies when conversing about proposed standards.

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