Sayobo use artificial intelligence systems to improve digital accessibility for people with impaired vision

More than 253 million people worldwide suffer impaired vision. To improve their access to digital environments and to facilitate their online self-management, the Espaitec company SemanticBots has developed Sayobo. This is the first chatbot that can be easily integrated into any website, app or other digital channels of companies and organisations so they can communicate with their customers or users, and is more accessible for people with impaired vision.

Sayobo has been designed to answer in different languages by voice or chat. It also adapts to everyone’s needs while it is being employed to make it more useful when offering information or managing tasks from digital channels.

Ample experience in developing chatbots

Semanticbots is a start-up created at the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) with ample experience in developing conversational platforms (chatbots) with artificial intelligence. The Sayobo system has been completely developed by a university research team. It makes layers of personalisation, new characteristics being implemented and integrations easier than in other systems on the market. All this is well appreciated by companies and institutions when they have to implement such tools into their digital transformation processes.

Ismael Sanz, an expert in artificial intelligence and a researcher from the UJI Temporal Knowledge Bases Group and the CIO of Sayobo, maintains that «the innovations we are creating will help to facilitate access to digital information to millions of people. Right from the start, we in the company excitedly took this challenge, especially when we discovered firsthand the digital obstacles that people like Marcos or Fidel had to face. Both are members of the ONCE (National Organisation of the Spanish Blind People) for whom we have been able to provide solutions with our technology and knowledge. We will continue to work and collaborate with the blind and associations to adapt to their requirements better».

The Sayobo user experience design is being created by the web development and marketing company AticSoft. Its CEO, Carlos Sánchez, highlighted that «Nowadays, it is not enough for companies and institutions to have a website, but their digital contents must be personalised and be accessible for all publics. Therefore, the improvements that the Sayobo chatbot offers greatly facilitate this work for companies».

«The fifth industrial revolution focuses on artificial intelligence, which is doubtlessly a clear example of how this technology can be used to benefit and be useful for both people and companies» Hugo Ferrer, the CEO of Sayobo.

Responsible innovation experience

The development of Sayobo came about with SemanticBots participating in the project «Towards responsible innovation: Science Parks as drivers of change», developed by the Unit of Scientific Culture and Innovation of the Communication Service of the Universitat Jaume I, which aimed to promote Responsible Research and Innovation through participation and dialogue with different groups of interest to make innovation processes and outcomes sustainable, desirable and acceptable.

SemanticBots decided to start investigating into which solutions and tools are available for people with visual impairments when they search for information or conduct proceedings with companies and institutions’ digital channels. This research allowed the problems that people with visual impairments face everyday to be known thanks to the collaboration and knowledge of the tiflotechnology ONCE teachers in Castellón and Valencia, and of people with visual impairments from Castellón and Gandía.

The  World  Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 253 million people worldwide with visual impairment. Of these, 36 million are blind and 217 million have moderate or serious visual impairments. In Spain, more than 1.5 million people see badly, and this figure rises to 9 million cases in Europe. Moreover, experts estimate that the number of people who see badly could triple before 2050. Therefore, solutions like Sayobo can greatly help these people when they search for information, purchase or make bookings, or conduct any proceedings using different mobile devices over the Internet.