Be My Eyes, a digital visual assistant app that connects blind and visually-impaired people with sighted volunteers, has launched a new Virtual Volunteer feature powered by OpenAI’s latest language model, GPT-4. This tool will allow sighted volunteers to assist blind and visually impaired users with tasks that don’t require physical presence, such as online shopping, reading labels and identifying objects in photos. The Virtual Volunteer feature is an expansion of Be My Eyes’ existing platform, which allows users to connect with sighted volunteers via a video call for assistance in real-time.
According to the app’s founder, Hans Jorgen Wiberg, the Virtual Volunteer feature was created in response to feedback from users who expressed a need for assistance with tasks that didn’t require real-time interaction. Blind and visually impaired users can post tasks that require assistance and a sighted volunteer can complete them in their own time. The tool will provide transformative resources to improve navigation, independence and everyday needs, aligning with OpenAI’s principles on responsible AI.
Be My Eyes plans to expand the beta testing group for the Virtual Volunteer feature and hopes to make it available to the blind and low-vision community. The Virtual Volunteer feature is available to all users of the Be My Eyes app, which currently has more than four million volunteers and 300,000 visually impaired users. The app is free and available for both iOS and Android devices.