Kara Technologies’ position statement on the use of signing avatars
This statement acknowledges the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the World
Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI)’s concerns. In particular, they caution the difference in linguistic quality between humans and avatars leads to the position that signing
avatars should not be used as a replacement for human signers.
Kara Technologies acknowledges that the rise of technology is causing the wider signing
community to reconsider how technology is applied in their daily lives. It also provides a real
chance of better accessibility.
In principle, Kara Technologies agreed with the WFD and WASLI’s position statement that:
“Computer-generated 3D avatars have the potential to provide alternative opportunities to render publicly available information that is in written text or spoken into a signed language”
Whilst the technology has progressed and offers real potential for wider use of signing avatars, we do not intend to use avatars as a means to replace any signed interpretation by qualified sign language interpreters. In fact, we believe that the avatars can be used to support and enhance access for deaf people.
We acknowledge that WFD and WASLI have jointly expressed particular concern where avatars are used when the information being delivered is live such as public emergency
announcements. We have seen a large number of delays in providing access to the deaf
community during these situations. Kara Technologies believes this is an excellent example of where an avatar would come into use until a sign language interpreter is ready. Kara
Technologies has no aspiration to ‘replace’ sign language interpreters in live settings.
We look forward to working with WFD, WASLI and others in providing better accessibility for
everyone and the promotion of sign languages globally.
The co-founder team