Aira Announces New Access AI Feature at CSUN!

ira Announces New AI beta release at CSUN 2024.

This week the Aira team is attending the 39th annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. CSUN is a fantastic event that Aira has attended every year since the company was founded in 2015. This is where we listen and engage with Explorers, Access Partners, and the assistive technology community, while also sharing our latest updates. 

CSUN is particularly exciting this year because we are announcing the beta release of Access AI, a brand new AI image chat feature with a unique twist that provides an extra layer of trust. Access AI allows Aira users—who we refer to as Explorers—to take a photo, share from their photo gallery, mobile device, or computer, get a detailed description, ask follow up questions, and receive free validation of AI responses from a visual interpreter. 

Access AI is an AI enhancement to the existing Aira app, where Explorers can instantly connect with a professional visual interpreter on a video call to assist with various tasks. Access AI is free to use and compliments the free access Explorers have to visual interpreters, including daily five minute free calls, or unlimited access offers by partners that include Target, Starbucks, JAWS, Intuit Small Business, Jobseeker and more.

The new Access AI feature has been designed with input from more than 30 Aira Explorers, through the Aira AI Advisory Group, who continue to provide input on Aira’s use of AI. The current features focus on ease of use, interactions with the AI that extend beyond a one-time description, and integration with visual interpreters who can validate or comment on the AI to enhance trust and accuracy. Overall, AI is a powerful tool but has certain limitations, including hallucinations or in some cases a refusal to interpret sensitive information. With Aira Access AI, Explorers can select an option to verify the AI generated description with a visual interpreter, who sends back an updated response to confirm or clarify the image description. In this way, Aira combines the best of AI with the best of human visual interpretation. 

Two images showing Aira Access AI conversations within the Aira app.
Two examples of tasks Access AI can assist Explorers with.

Access AI is focused on quality, privacy and security. Aira believes in choice as well as providing the best quality of service and therefore we employ multiple AI vendors who can meet the “gold standard” of data handling and security that Aira produces for its Visual Interpreting service. As with any other use of Aira, Explorers’ privacy and security is protected to the highest standard when using this feature, and not shared with AI vendors.

“I have been extremely impressed with the responses of Access AI. This is not only due to the accurate and detailed information it provides, but also the understanding, empathy, and encouragement that has been built into this software. . . Also, if it makes a mistake, and I end up correcting it, it doesn’t showcase the typical negative stereotypes regarding disability as a whole. The Aira tech team has done an incredible job with creating this Access AI technology, and what lies at the core of Aira should always be the choice to go between AI and human-to-human connections. This provides for a much more liberating and on demand experience for all Aira explorers.”—Joy, an Aira Explorer 

Join the waitlist by filling out this form. Explorers will be added to the beta over the coming weeks and months with priority based on Explorers’ time or tenure with the service. This is a limited roll out, but as we gain feedback and assess our capacity, we will continue to add more Explorers and to develop features. We are committed to the long run and there will be more to come with AI at Aira. 

We’re continually innovating at Aira, and are looking forward to sharing this feature with the community at CSUN. If you’re interested in chatting with us about Aira, we will be at booth #216. Come check out our presentation on Wednesday, March 20th at 4:20 pm at Grand CD to learn more about Access AI, product development at Aira, and more!

Download Aira in the Google Play and Apple App Store.


About Aira
Aira was founded on the belief that access to information is a human right. In this spirit, the Aira app provides on-demand, remote visual interpretation for the blind and low vision community. People can download Aira, press a button, and their phone camera will stream a live video to one of Aira’s highly skilled visual interpreters. The Aira visual interpreter can then provide visual interpretation by explaining the caller’s surroundings, describing, narrating, navigating, or reading. Aira visual interpreters draw on their extensive training and experience to assist with a vast range of daily tasks and enhance callers’ independence and efficiency. Aira operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and supports service globally wherever there is an internet connection.

Aira is approaching ten million calls to date and is offered by Aira Access Partners including leading software companies, financial firms, airports, and major realtors. Aira’s technology has been extensively covered in the media, including by Time, Vogue, The New York Times, USA Today, NBC, and the LA Times. 

For more information, visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


Media enquiries:
Hannah Griffin