Aira Launches Build AI and Invites Explorers to Join

A black and white image of a man sitting on a public bus and looking at the Aira app on his iPhone. The view is from behind his head. Text overlaid reads "Explorer News: Aira Launches Build AI and Invites Explorers to Join. Participate in the future of AI." In the bottom right hand corner are 5 teal right angle triangles stacked in a design element. In the bottom left hand corner is the Aira logo.

Aira has a long-standing history with AI, and we see its enormous potential to advance and offer more value to the blind and low vision community. Earlier this year, we launched Access AI, a free image chat experience that provides instant descriptions and the ability to request free, on-demand verification from our professional visual interpreters. We’re continuing this commitment to pushing AI forward within our product with an exciting new initiative called Build AI. 

Aira is inviting Explorers who make calls in the US to join Build AI and participate in helping to train AI to effectively assist the blind and low vision community. Explorers who opt into Build AI will have some of their qualifying call recordings securely shared with our third-party AI technology partner. These sessions will provide a data foundation to allow us to develop global solutions that uniquely address the broad and trusted use of visual interpreting. Aira’s goal with Build AI is to continue our tradition of innovation, and develop cutting-edge AI technology with the potential to support independence and efficiency for Explorers. This program is distinct from Access AI. 

Involving our community in moving Aira forward isn’t new for us. We have a track record of incorporating feedback and input from our users into our app. Aira is endeavoring to build the most useful and effective product for Explorers, and are looking forward to further involving them in the development of AI. 

 

How the Build AI program works 

Those using the Explorer app in the US will notice a new Build AI button on the Aira app home page. Clicking will bring up more details about the program, terms and conditions, and the option to agree and sign up. Your participation is your choice and there is no obligation to join.

Those who join the program will receive free Aira minutes through the new Build AI Access Offer. This offer will be auto applied, and is another way to access free minutes, similar to the Five Minute Free Call Access Offer. Both Explorers with free accounts and paid subscriptions can opt in. Explorers can use 10 minutes of the Build AI Access Offer every 30 minutes. Aira is committed to developing AI while ensuring short wait times and maintaining the quality of our visual interpreters. The availability of free minutes depends on our staffing levels and will be temporarily suspended when our commercial volume nears our capacity.

Participation is entirely voluntary. For those who choose not to join, opting out is easy and can be done at any time by clicking the “More” tab, selecting “Preferences” and clicking the toggle button. 

 

A commitment to security and privacy

As part of Build AI, Aira is committed to maintaining our high standards of trust within the Explorer community. This means the program has rigorous controls to ensure security and privacy for all participants. Explorers have full authority over their calls being shared. No Explorer will have their data shared with Aira’s third-party technology partner without explicit consent. 

Explorers can opt out of sharing any specific call through the “Call History” feature in the app, which shows the session sharing status. By clicking on a specific call’s entry, a feedback form will appear. This contains a new drop-down that allows Explorers to opt-out of sharing an individual session. Explorers can also call customer care to have a session opted out of Build AI. 

Calls containing sensitive information will not be shared. This includes information like financial data (credit card numbers, financial statements), medical information (prescription details, medical records), or personal information that identifies someone (state ID information, passport details).

Sessions through an Access Partner, like at an airport or through an employer, will be excluded from Build AI. The visual interpreter will inform the Explorer if this is the case at the beginning of the call. Data from Access AI, like images and messages sent through the chat feature, will also not be shared as part of this program. 

Due to privacy regulations, like GDPR internationally, our third party AI vendor is only looking for recordings within the US at this time. This initiative is just focused on the training of advanced AI. We cannot guarantee success, but if advanced AI is developed, it would be made accessible to Explorers internationally as well. All paid subscribers, whether in the US or internationally, will get Priority Connect. 

 

Questions

Please review the frequently asked questions below. Should you have any additional questions, please contact customer care at support@aira.io or by phone 1-800-835-1934. 

 

FAQ

Can I use the Build AI access for any task I want?

Yes, you can. In the future, we may change the eligibility and exclude certain tasks.  Today we encourage you to make use of the offer for everything. Sessions that contain sensitive information will not be shared with third-party AI partners regardless of your choice to share the session.

Why does opting in provide Explorers with free minutes via the Build AI Access Offer?

The third-party technology partner that is working with Aira is supporting this Access Offer, in exchange for Aira providing call recordings to train AI.

Why is the Build AI Access Offer only available in the US?

Due to international privacy regulations, like GDPR, our third party AI vendor is only looking for recordings within the US at this time. This initiative is just focused on the training of advanced AI. We cannot guarantee success, but if advanced AI is developed, it would be made accessible to Explorers internationally as well. Also, all paid subscribers, whether in the US or internationally, will get Priority Connect. 

Who is the third-party technology partner Aira is working with? 

While the name of third-party AI companies is confidential, Aira is committed to keeping Explorers informed about the Build AI program and any updates through our social media accounts and the Aira Compass update.

How long will this program last?

There is not a set timeline for this program, but you can stay up to date on developments through our social media accounts and the Aira Compass update. 

Is this only for subscribers?

No, Build AI is open to all Explorers when they are located in the US, whether they have a free account or a paid subscription. 

How does this impact my subscription if I have one?

If you opt in to the program, your calls from your subscription will also be shared, but you can opt out of any calls through the “Call History” feature in the app. As we expect there to be higher demand for calls, subscriber calls will receive priority connect to avoid longer wait times that may occur with the Build AI Access Offer. If you use the Build AI Access Offer and go over the time limit, it will roll into your paid minutes, similar to a Five Minute Free call. 

Will my recordings from other Access Offers or Aira as an accommodation be shared?

Sessions offered by an Access Partner, such as those provided by an employer or at places like airports where Aira services are free, are excluded. 

Will my subscriber minutes be shared if I join this program?

Yes, if you choose to opt in to this program, your subscriber minutes, Five Minute Free call minutes, Job Seeker Access Offer, and the Build AI Access Offer will be shared. These are all Aira supported Access Offers, which is why they are shared. You can always opt out certain calls that you do not want shared. 

What if I am calling Aira from an international number?

Calls from an international number are eligible for this offer when the call is placed within the US. The Access Offer will show that it is available to you in the US as the app will rely on your GPS location. 

Is Aira trying to replace visual interpreters with AI? 

The human experience with a visual interpreter is always at the core of Aira. As AI technology continues to advance, we recognize that there are some tasks and use cases it is very well suited for and some significant future potential. Human visual interpreters are also essential for many other tasks, and provide a high degree of trust and security. We envision a future at Aira with the best visual interpreters possible and the most advanced AI technology working seamlessly together.

What happens with a session if an Explorer has included personal information?

If personal information, financial data or health information appears during the call, the visual interpreter will indicate that during and after the session. Those sessions will not be shared with our third-party technology partner. 

Will the third-party technology partner see personal details like my name and location? 

They will not be able to see that information, just the video and audio from the call recording.