AUCKLAND, Wednesday: The Waitapu Group’s School Road Publishing says it looked to AI to help create a diverse and all-embracing digital home for Woman+ (a multi-platform brand designed to be a voice for Kiwi women).
Digital and content GM Melissa Platt said: “Thinking broadly about all women and what their needs may be, the Woman+ team looked to AI to see where it can help speed some things up – like making more articles available to listen to on the go.
“We definitely know women are multitasking constantly – they often don’t have the time to stop and read so we wanted to make our content accessible in multiple formats.
“A few months ago, Woman+ began using AI to transcribe their written articles into audio files – not just for their community of busy women on the go, but also to cater for their community who may have access needs.”
School Road Publishing business director Elisabeth Ric Hansen said: “My dad was an avid reader, but when he lost his vision to macular degeneration in his sixties, I saw first-hand how losing the ability to read affected his life and his mental health.”
“It’s great to see an online platform like Woman+ using AI technology to make their content more accessible.”
Rebecca McDonald from All is for All, an agency that advocates for diversity and accessibility, said: “It’s great to see an online platform like Woman+ using AI technology to make their content more accessible.
“Generally, many online platforms aren’t accessible to parts of the disabled community because the content is not designed to meet the range of access needs.
“By offering AI enabled voice playback on their articles, users who may not be able to read the content can choose to listen to it instead. It’s a step in the right direction, and it would be great to see more platforms following.”
Melissa Platt: “AI text to voice tools are not perfect, but it does the job quickly.
“That said, you will find a few human versions on Woman+, especially for articles with te reo Māori words — that’s when we try and get into our recording studios.
“AI hasn’t got that part right yet.”
Woman+ is a multi-platform brand designed to be a voice for Kiwi women.
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