A11y, AI & Machine Learning: Opportunities & Threats

Presented at 11:45am in Gov Square 12 on Friday, November 19, 2021.



  • Christopher Land, Senior Accessibility Technical Program Manager, Oracle

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Discussion on new technologies impacting people with disabilities, both good and bad, including innovations on the horizon and around the corner presenting promise and risk.


Emerging technologies of artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning hold great promise in assisting people with disabilities in living independently. At the same time, the technologies themselves are morally neutral and could be used to discriminate against people with disabilities, unintentionally or overtly.

Helping people overcome disabilities has been a major driver of technological innovation, leading to the development of tools that help everyone. This talk will cover the following topics and their positive and negative impacts on people with disabilities: communications devices and AI assistance in input, AI auto-captioning and photo recognition, discrimination in machine learning, AI in the hiring processes, big data and risks to health privacy, targeted advertising to people with disabilities.

The emerging technologies of machine learning, big data and artificial intelligence open up wonderful opportunities in advancing accessibility. The potential for increased discrimination is also a risk, which can hopefully be mitigated through education and expanded legal protection for people with disabilities.


  1. Artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning hold great promise in assisting PwD
  2. New technology could discriminate against people with disabilities, unintentionally or overtly
  3. We must be aware of potential risks and proactively protect people with disabilities from harm

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Other, Uncategorized, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Christopher Land

Christopher Land is an Senior Accessibility Technical Program Manager with Oracle and co-organizer of a11ySD, an accessibility meetup in San Diego. Chris has experience in training, coding, design, UX and enterprise systems. He sees digital accessibility as crucial in providing people with disabilities an unprecedented level of independence.

Presentation Slides