Rory Preddy, a Principal Cloud Advocate with Microsoft South Africa.
DVT recently held a Tech Insights Webinar with guest speaker Rory Preddy, a Principal Cloud Advocate with Microsoft South Africa. Preddy discussed the use of AI and demonstrated how to use Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI and GPT-3 to scan websites for accessibility issues.
Preddy explains that AI can be viewed as either a threat or an opportunity for humanity. He believes in the latter. “You must know how to talk to AI to achieve results. People are worried about AI replacing their jobs or that humans will become dumb, but AI is there to help you. So, you need to learn how to become an AI conversationalist.”
One of Preddy’s goals is to examine how AI can aid accessibility. Accessibility is the design of products, services, or environments so everyone, including people with disabilities, can fully experience them.
Additionally, there has been a massive drive to “shift left” in software development, in other words, to build and design accessibility from the start.
“Accessibility is not a destination; it’s a journey, and that journey starts with tools and testing,” says Preddy. “Using tools like Accessibility Insights, Azure OpenAI Playground, AI helps with programming and generating code to fix accessibility issues in web apps and sites.”
Preddy demonstrated how GitHub Copilot could generate the code to fix accessibility problems. GitHub Copilot, powered by OpenAI Codex, an AI system created by OpenAI, is a code completion tool that offers autocomplete-style suggestions as you code.
Microsoft has always focused on accessibility, with AI and toolsets to help with the automated scanning of websites for vulnerabilities and allow users to command tools through conversations. By learning how to communicate with the toolsets effectively, one can use them for various purposes such as searching, data analysis and generating summaries.
Roberto Ferro, head of DVT’s Innovation Centre, says: “OpenAI’s GPT is a tool that will empower the curious and reduce barriers to knowledge; it will enable people like never before. I urge everyone to watch Preddy's webinar recording, which can be found on our YouTube channel and follow Rory on Twitter @RoryPreddy for more information about AI toolsets."