AI Empowering Abilities: Liberation, Accommodation, and Automation!
How Artificial Intelligence Transforms the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities.
Virtual Personal Assistants. Social Media Algorithms. Online Shopping Recommendations. Fraud Detection. Content Moderation. You may not realize it, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) is involved in each of these things. If AI can recommend suggested products based on browsing and purchase history, how can it make work and life more accommodating for my disability? Throughout this blog post, Collin and Naomi tackle this question and share how they have been purposely and authentically using artificial intelligence to liberate, accommodate, and automate their lives.
I had the opportunity to connect with some members of the PHYSEDagogy team when they were all in Seattle for the SHAPE America Conference back in March. At dinner one night, Collin had been sharing some exciting things he had been learning about Artificial intelligence. As he described the benefits of AI, I couldn’t help but think about how it could help me overcome the barriers that I face with my new illness.
Dealing with a New Chronic Illness and Disability
In April of 2021, I contracted COVID-19. Even after recovering from the acute phase of COVID-19, I’ve continued to experience a wide range of symptoms that have impacted my physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. For the past 2 years, I have lived with a post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) or the more commonly known term, Long COVID-19.
Some of the physical symptoms I’ve experienced include persistent fatigue, arthralgia in my hands, and reduced exercise tolerance (especially cardiovascular endurance). I’ve also experienced cognitive symptoms such as brain fog, difficulty concentrating, aphasia, and memory problems, making completing tasks challenging. My depression worsened, and emotionally, I struggled with feelings of frustration, isolation, and uncertainty as I tried to manage my symptoms and figure out how to move forward. Long-COVID has profoundly changed my life, making it difficult to function as I did before and forcing me to adjust my daily life and routines.
A Whole New World
As someone with Long-COVID, my life has changed dramatically because of my new impairments. As I navigate this new world of doing things, I recognize that AI is a tool that I can use to help me stay organized, create high-quality materials, navigate my work environment more efficiently, and communicate more effectively. It has already been a game-changer for me, and I am just starting. I know if it can help me it can also support people like me with a new-found illness, impairment, or disability.
AI-Based Tools to Level Up Productivity
Over the past few months, I have been slowly researching different AI tools to see which ones could help me manage my workload, communicate more effectively, eliminate the busy work, and develop a personalized organizational system. I looked at tools that can help create presentations, guide my research, organize my calendars, create content, edit and analyze my work, and take notes in meetings, allowing me to be more present and strategic in my job.
What did I find out when I started looking at AI tools? There are so many out there! My Instagram is now giving me targeted ads and reels that focus on new AI tools and I am learning all about the AI world and what it has to offer me.
Exciting New AI Tools
I have narrowed down a list of AI Tools that I am planning to use and try out. Please note that I have tried a few of them and am working my way through this list. Tasks take a little longer, and I have learned to pace myself. Here are a few exciting AI Tools!
- Podcastle: Podcastle is an AI-powered podcast transcription tool. It can transcribe podcasts into text, making them easily searchable and accessible. It uses AI to automatically transcribe spoken words with high accuracy, reducing the time and effort required for manual transcription.
- TomeAI: TomeAI is an AI-powered research assistant that can help users find relevant research articles and papers. It uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand user queries and search a vast database of research articles to find relevant results.
- TLDRthis: TLDRthis is an AI-powered summarization tool that summarizes articles and webpages into concise, easy-to-read summaries. It uses natural language processing (NLP) to identify the key points of an article and create a summary.
- Grammarly: an AI-powered writing assistant that can help improve writing skills, check for grammar and spelling errors and suggest alternative word choices.
- Compose AI: Compose AI is an AI-powered writing assistant that can help users create high-quality content such as emails, reports, and blog posts. It uses machine learning algorithms to suggest sentence structures, grammar corrections, and style improvements.
- Copy AI: Copy AI is an AI-powered writing assistant that can generate high-quality content such as blog posts, product descriptions, and marketing copy. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze existing content and generate new content that matches the tone and style of the original.
- Write Sonic: Write Sonic is an AI-powered writing assistant that can help users create high-quality content such as blog posts, emails, and reports. It uses machine learning algorithms to suggest sentence structures, grammar corrections, and style improvements.
- Text Blaze: Text Blaze is an AI-powered text expansion tool that can help users save time by automating repetitive typing tasks. It uses machine learning algorithms to recognize frequently used phrases and shortcuts and automatically expands them when the user types a predefined keyword.
- Beautiful AI: Beautiful AI is an AI-powered presentation tool that can help users create professional-looking presentations. It uses machine learning algorithms to suggest design templates, layout options, and font choices based on the presentation’s content.
- Gamma AI: Gamma AI is an AI-powered research assistant that can help users find relevant research articles and papers. It uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand user queries and search a vast database of research articles to find relevant results.
- Steve AI: Steve AI is an AI-powered personal assistant that can help users manage calendars, set reminders, and perform other tasks. It uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand user queries and provide helpful responses.
- Fireflies: Fireflies is an AI-powered meeting assistant that can help users manage their meetings more efficiently. It can automatically transcribe meetings, highlight important points, and provide summaries and action items.
- Otter.ai – an AI-powered transcription tool that can help transcribe meetings, lectures, and interviews, making searching and reviewing important information easier.
In my journey through academia and the professional world, I have encountered various challenges due to my learning disability. In 2014, I wrote about my learning disability in detail. From a young age, tasks like reading, writing, spelling, and math presented significant hurdles for me. However, amidst these struggles, I discovered the power of AI-based tools that have transformed my educational experience and opened doors of independence. Today, I want to share my story of how AI tools have empowered me and my belief in the potential of AI tools like ChatGPT to revolutionize the lives of students and professionals.
I was diagnosed with a learning disability in second grade, and it was a turning point in my academic journey. During this time, I was introduced to the Franklin Spell Checker—an awesome tool that changed my life. Suddenly, spelling correctly became attainable, and I felt a newfound sense of empowerment as an independent student in the classroom. Moreover, the tool helped me write faster and more efficiently, allowing me to keep pace with my peers.
Unleashing the Power of AI Tools
As I progressed through my academic and professional life, I encountered other AI-based tools that gave me a similar feeling of empowerment. Tools like Grammarly became invaluable in improving my writing skills, checking for grammar and spelling errors, and suggesting alternative word choices. At the time, I didn’t fully realize that all these tools were powered by artificial intelligence, quietly supporting me in my journey.
The Unseen Potential of ChatGPT
When I first came across ChatGPT, I was excited about its potential for students like me. With AI tools like ChatGPT, students can gain the confidence to express themselves independently, bridge communication gaps, and overcome academic challenges. The ability to articulate thoughts faster and work more efficiently could be a game-changer for students with learning disabilities.
Empowering Independence and Accelerating Learning
The true impact of AI tools lies in their ability to empower students with learning disabilities to become more independent learners. These tools break down barriers, enabling students to overcome challenges in real time. By leveraging AI capabilities, students can articulate their thoughts more effectively, work faster, and keep up with the demands of their education. The potential for transformative change in the lives of these students is immense.
Benefits of AI for Students with Learning Disabilities
AI can provide several advantages for students with learning disabilities. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved accuracy: AI can help students improve their accuracy in spelling, grammar, and math tasks. This can free up students’ time and energy to focus on other aspects of their learning.
- Increased independence: AI can help students to become more independent learners. This is because AI can provide students with personalized feedback and assistance, which can help them to identify and correct their mistakes.
- Accelerated learning: AI can help students to learn at a faster pace. This is because AI can provide students with customized instruction and practice, which can help them to master new concepts more quickly.
- Reduced stress: AI can help students to reduce stress and anxiety. This is because AI can provide students with support and encouragement, which can help them to feel more confident in their abilities.
Limitations of AI for Students with Learning Disabilities
While AI can provide several benefits for students with learning disabilities, there are also some limitations to consider. Some of these limitations include:
- Cost: AI-based tools can be expensive (however, ChatGPT and Bard are free), making them inaccessible to some students.
- Accuracy: AI-based tools are not always accurate, which can lead to errors in student work.
- Bias: AI-based tools can be biased, leading to unfair treatment of students.
AI-based tools can potentially revolutionize the lives of students with learning disabilities. These tools can provide students several benefits, including improved accuracy, increased independence, accelerated learning, and reduced stress. However, it is essential to note that AI-based tools have limitations, such as cost, accuracy, and bias. Despite these limitations, AI-based tools have the potential to make a significant positive impact on the lives of students with learning disabilities.
Various Unrecognized AI Tools
- Virtual Personal Assistants: Virtual personal assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant use natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to understand and respond to user requests. Millions of people use these assistants daily without realizing they are using AI.
- Social Media Algorithms: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter use AI-powered algorithms to curate content, make recommendations, and personalize user experiences. These algorithms use machine learning to analyze user behavior and preferences, deciding what content to show each user.
- Online Shopping Recommendations: E-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay use AI-powered recommendation engines to suggest products to users based on their browsing and purchase history. These recommendation engines use machine learning algorithms to analyze user behavior and make personalized recommendations.
- Fraud Detection: Many banks and financial institutions use AI-powered fraud detection systems to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions. These systems use machine learning algorithms to analyze transaction data and detect patterns that may indicate fraud.
- Content Moderation: Social media platforms and other online communities use AI-powered content moderation systems to identify and remove inappropriate or harmful content. These systems use natural language processing and machine learning to analyze content and flag potentially problematic posts.
AI has the potential to liberate, accommodate, and automate various aspects of our lives, including work and education, for individuals with disabilities. As we continue to explore and harness the power of AI, it is crucial to prioritize inclusivity, accessibility, and ethical considerations to ensure that these technologies truly empower and support individuals with disabilities in their pursuit of independence and success.
Note: AI was used in the assistance of writing and researching for this blog.
Thank you for sharing this. I understand the use of these tools as a teacher. You both presented it very well!
It has also been a topic on our campus this year (Higher Ed). It reminds me of when computers showed up, and schools were upset at first because it would stop students from learning using handwriting.
I believe in teaching my college students about these tools as they are about to go into the world and may use them. Many of my colleagues on campus feel otherwise. Are they maybe threatened? I sense it is similar to technology beginning its trek into PE.
This is so well done. When I first saw ChatGBT rise to popularity and tested it out.- My first reaction was- students will never have to think for themselves again and we will be “dumbing-down” the world as AI starts to do our writing and thinking for us.
This article puts the whole thing in perspective. The untapped potential of how AI can assist, support and build confidence in this generation of learners- particularly the ones struggling with a variety of disabilities, blows this conversation wide open. As I am at the tail end of my career, it’s important to acknowledge that THIS is the world that young people will inherit as part of their education, lifestyle and workplace. Well done!