Participants needed for research in metalearning for personalized object recognition aimed at visually impaired

Smartphones are really useful in making visual information accessible to visually impaired people. For instance, the SeeingAI app allows you to take picture of your surroundings and then it reads aloud common things that are recognised in the picture, for example “a person sitting on a sofa”. SeeingAI uses AI to recognise items. The problem is that these kinds of AI currently can’t tell you which of the things it recognises is yours, and they don’t know things that are important to blind users. We are trying to change this. Help us!

We are looking for people who are registered blind who we can come visit, so you can show us what’s important to you and how you might use your phone to find it. This will inform the design of an iPhone app that will allow thousands of visually impaired people to contribute imagery to help train the kinds of AI behind these smartphone apps.
We are looking for adults (18+) who:

  • Live in the United Kingdom
  • Are registered blind
  • Speak English fluently
  • Have an iPhone
  • Do not have any mobility or cognitive impairment

Your participation would involve –

  • Filling in a background survey
  • Spending up to two hours with us at home, where
    • We’ll talk to you about things you might want your phone to recognise
    • You can show us these things and how you use them
    • You will try to capture them using your iPhone’s camera app

and you’ll get an incentive to the value of £50 in appreciation of your time.
We’re a group of researchers based in City, University of London. You can find more about the project at our website: For more information about the study please contact Lida Theodorou at

This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through the Computer Science research Ethics Committee CSREC, City, University of London.
If you would like to complain about any aspect of the study, please contact the Secretary to the Senate Research Ethics Committee on 020 7040 3040 or via email:
City, University of London is the data controller for the personal data collected for this research project. If you have any data protection concerns about this research project, please contact City’s Information Compliance Team at

Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design, City, University of London.

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