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UK-Israel tech summit: how to help the blind to "see"

The use of artificial intelligence to help the blind to “see” was at the top of the agenda as Israeli and British tech figures descended on London for an annual summit. Ziv Aviram, the co-founder and CEO of OrCam Technologies, delivered the keynote address at the Innovate Israel 2018 conference on Tuesday, hosted by UK Israel Business.

Last year, Mr Aviram sold his previous venture, autonomous driving company Mobileye, for more than £11 billion to computer chip maker Intel – the highest ever sum for a buyout of an Israeli firm. He chose the Innovate Israel conference to launch his new product - MyEye, a device attached to users’ glasses which visually interprets surroundings and relays them via an earpiece.

Mr Aviram told the JC: “I am excited to do something to influence so many people. That is the main reason we are doing this. “After [Mobileye] was acquired by Intel – it is no secret we don’t have to work for money. We feel this will help people who have lost their sight, so it’s something very worthwhile. “It can read to you if you point it at words on a page or on a screen, and it can also identify people close to the users, and recognise them in five seconds.”

It was the first UK Israel conference since the recent violence in Gaza, but Mr Aviram said he was unconcerned by the prospect of anti-Israel sentiment abroad, saying: “Israeli tech has made many efforts to help people”.

Also on the agenda at the Innovate Israel 2018 conference was medical technology, aerospace and insurance against hacking.

Ben Weich