Snapchat adds filter that teaches sign language
Snapchat has just launched augmented reality filters that offer an approach to sign language. The company behind the app, Snap Inc., developed the feature as an option that further includes deaf users, working with their team members who are hard of hearing.
As a note Committed In their review, the filters use artificial intelligence and computer vision to recognize and translate sign language. An important detail to keep in mind is that it is useful with the American variant of this language.
One of the filters shows how spell with your fingers, that is, forming words with each of the letters that compose them. Another focuses on the spelling of the username and common words, such as “love”.
“A big motivator for me is my own oldest son, who loves to talk but struggled to learn ASL (American Sign Language). I am passionate about this technology because I really believe that it will be disruptive in many applications. Methods like this help families like mine communicate and grow together», Said Jennica Pounds, engineer of Software deaf, who was a key figure in this initiative.
According to the mentioned source, “the hope is that these new elements of the application raise awareness and help more people learn a new way of communicating.”
The new options were launched precisely in the International Deaf Week, currently in progress.
Inclusion in Snapchat
In April, Snap Inc. released a diversity report that reveals the company’s progress in this area. On the other hand, after a series of reviews of some filters in the app, they reported their plans for the selfies in their environment are more inclusive and they said they were working with experts to “develop technology that counteracts prejudice.”
Regarding diversity within the company team, the report shows slow progress, although progressing in the end, with 47% white employees and 65% men. In other areas, they have made more significant progress: the percentage of women on the board of directors is now 50%, compared to 37.5% previously.
In the company in general, the representation of women has hardly increased: it went from 32.9% to 33.1%. The growth of under-represented groups in decision-making positions is also low, dropping from 13.1% to 13.6%. In this area, it should be noted that the number of Latinos has increased from 6.9% to 6.8%. On the other hand, Asian representation in leadership positions also saw a drop of almost 2 percentage points.
Heading into 2025, Snap Inc. is looking for more goals. They seek to reduce underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the company from 18.7% to 20%, and to increase the number of women in technology positions from 16.5% to 25%.