Opportunities for Human-AI Collaboration in Remote Sighted Assistance

Sooyeon Lee, Rui Yu, Jingyi Xie, Syed Masum Billah, John M. Carroll

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


Remote sighted assistance (RSA) has emerged as a conversational assistive technology for people with visual impairments (VI), where remote sighted agents provide realtime navigational assistance to users with visual impairments via video-chat-like communication. In this paper, we conducted a literature review and interviewed 12 RSA users to comprehensively understand technical and navigational challenges in RSA for both the agents and users. Technical challenges are organized into four categories: agents' difficulties in orienting and localizing the users; acquiring the users' surroundings and detecting obstacles; delivering information and understanding user-specific situations; and coping with a poor network connection. Navigational challenges are presented in 15 real-world scenarios (8 outdoor, 7 indoor) for the users. Prior work indicates that computer vision (CV) technologies, especially interactive 3D maps and realtime localization, can address a subset of these challenges. However, we argue that addressing the full spectrum of these challenges warrants new development in Human-CV collaboration, which we formalize as five emerging problems: making object recognition and obstacle avoidance algorithms blind-aware; localizing users under poor networks; recognizing digital content on LCD screens; recognizing texts on irregular surfaces; and predicting the trajectory of out-of-frame pedestrians or objects. Addressing these problems can advance computer vision research and usher into the next generation of RSA service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication27th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2022
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781450391443
StatePublished - Mar 22 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event27th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2022 - Virtual, Online, Finland
Duration: Mar 22 2022Mar 25 2022

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI


Conference27th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2022
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


  • 3D maps
  • RSA
  • artificial intelligence
  • augmented reality
  • blind
  • camera
  • computer vision
  • conversational assistance
  • navigation
  • people with visual impairments
  • remote sighted assistance
  • smartphone


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