On November 19, 2009, Google launched a new product from the Innovation Labs. The audience was exposed – to automatic captions- a technology that uses voice recognition/machine learning/AI algorithms and language analysis to provide the hearing impaired with a real-time translation. The press conference was accompanied by talks full of pathos about the role of technology in “fixing” disabilities and improving the capabilities of humanity.
In this work, I edited excerpts of the meeting and ran the automatic captioning software on them. The sad and sometimes awkward result highlights the gap between silicon valley’s utopian-full-of-hubris narrative and the complex, complicated, sometimes ridiculous and usually full-of-glitches reality. The name of the work, access ability, is the way YouTube's "automatic ability" program has decided to translate the word accessibility.