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Future

How AI Can Revolutionize Life For The Disabled

Digital assistants like Google Home are marketed to everyone. But for disabled people, in particular, they can be a godsend. There are also innovations like MyEye, a visual recognition device, that can be life altering for the visually impaired.

Woman wearing OrCam MyEye 2.0
Woman wearing OrCam MyEye 2.0
Remy Demichelis

PARIS — The kitchen is long, with a table for breakfast or coffee — normal for a Parisian apartment. And even though it belongs to Christian Laine, an adapted software developer for the French Federation of the Blind (FAF), there's nothing overtly technological about the place. "It isn't all connected," he says. Not like the Google showcase models where everything from the pop-corn machine to the living room lights relies on one vocal assistant.

Look carefully, though, and on the table there is a discreet Google Home speaker that Laine, who is blind, calls to consult the weather or listen to the radio. "Ok Google: play Franceinfo." Indeed, vocal assistants are quickly becoming an essential tool for the FAF developer. "It opens superb opportunities for the blind," he says. "When it comes to Google Home, we are equal to the non-blind."

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade: Will It Spark Anti-Abortion Momentum Around The World?

Pro-life activists celebrated the end of the U.S. right to abortion, hoping it will trigger a new debate on a topic that in some places had largely been settled: in favor a woman’s right to choose. But it could also boomerang.

Thousands of people demonstrate against abortion in Madrid

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Shaun Lavelle

The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a constitutional right to abortion put the United States at the forefront of abortion rights in the world.

Other countries would follow suit in the succeeding years, with France legalizing abortion in 1975, Italy in 1978, and Ireland finally joining most of the rest of Europe with a landslide 2018 referendum victory for women’s right to choose. Elsewhere, parts of Asia and Africa have made incremental steps toward legalizing abortion, while a growing number of Latin American countries have joined what has now been a decades-long worldwide shift toward more access to abortion rights.

But now, 49 years later, with last Friday’s landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade, will the U.S. once again prove to be ahead of the curve? Will American cultural and political influence carry across borders on the abortion issue, reversing the momentum of recent years?

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