Google is testing an AI system to help vision-impaired people run races

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Google is testing an artificial intelligence system designed to help blind and vision-impaired people to run races by themselves. Project Guideline, which is an early-phase research program, is an attempt to give those people more independence. They wouldn’t necessarily need to rely on a tethered human guide or a guide dog to help them around a course.

To use the system, a runner attaches an Android phone to a Google-designed harness that goes around their waist, according to VentureBeat. A Project Guideline app can use the phone’s camera to track a guideline that’s been laid down on a course. The app then sends audio cues to bone-conducting headphones when a runner veers away from the line — the sound will get louder in one ear the further they stray to the side. The app doesn’t need an internet connection to work, and it can account for a number of lighting and weather conditions.

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