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Welcome to the Shape Arts Podcast!

We’ll be exploring arts, heritage and creativity of all kinds from a barriers-facing perspective, hearing from leading makers, activists and cultural workers about the things that matter to them.

We will also be introducing new or upcoming projects, and discovering new ideas about what disability is - and what contemporary culture might be as a result.

In episode two, Shape Creative Producers Elinor Hayes and Emily Roderick sat down to discuss their research and reflections on the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence and the ways in which it might help - or hinder - accessibility within the arts sector. 

We would like to thank Ian Rattray, Sound Editor and Grace Fairley, Illustrator for their contributions to the podcast.

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AI and accessibility: what tools exist?

Chat GPT

large language model chatbot that allows you to have human-like conversations. The AI can answer questions and assist you with certain tasks. 

Bing Chat (can only be used through Microsoft Edge) A new feature of Bing's search engine. Driven by the same technology as Chat GPT, Bing Chat offers a chatbot interface capable of drawing on - and citing - multiple sources at once, as well as assessing the relevance of their content to the inputted prompt. An online database of available AI tools.
Audio Pen

Audio Pen uses AI to convert unstructured voice notes into clearly reworded text. It's like an assistant that summarises and types out what you say.

Note: has paid limitations, meaning you can only record up to 3 minutes of audio at a time using the free version of the software.

AI-coustics A programme using AI speech enhancement technology to improve the clarity and quality of spoken words.
Adobe Mic Check Uses AI to analyse your microphone setup and suggests changes to make it sound great. automatically generates image alt text using AI.

Note: generates only very basic descriptions, we would recommend using them as a starting point - particularly if you're intending on using them as image descriptions (and not just alt texts!). Transforms sketches into high quality stock photos or digital artworks using AI technology. Requires a smartphone. uses AI to write automatic meeting notes with real-time transcription, recorded audio, automated slide capture, and automated meeting summaries. This can be used alongside most major online video calling platforms.
Zoom Alongside the standard video calling features, Zoom also offers an 'AI Companion' for meeting summary notes as well as captions for calls and full transcripts.

Got suggestions? Share them with us!

What tasks can AI help me with?

Tasks Notes

Writing text

  • Summarising information from multiple online sources
  • Creating copy for social media posts or websites

Using chatbots like Chat GPT and Bing Chat can be a great way to brainstorm and draft texts, whether for social media, applications, websites, or elsewhere. 

It is worth noting that the quality and usefulness of the response you get will be determined by the question or prompt you input. It can take time and practice to work out how best to phrase your prompts.

Occasionally, chatbots can 'hallucinate' - which means they make things up that are either untrue or misrepresentative. It's important you check  the text they produce for errors, inaccuracies, and implicit bias.

Editing text

  • Cutting words to meet a word count
  • Changing the reading level of a given text
AI can be a handy tool for meeting word and character counts, and for adapting a given text to a more accessible reading level (we use the Flesch Kincaid Scale at Shape).

Speech to text

  • Transcribing
  • Summarising recorded speech into condensed text

The technology around speech to text is constantly evolving. Many AI systems train to your voice over time, so you will find the accuracy with which they transcribe your speech improves with use. 

AI systems that summarise as well as transcribe can be a useful tool if you are trying to condense a sprawling idea or if you are unsure how to communicate the key points.

Audio recording and editing

  • Checking and adjusting input quality before recording
  • Cleaning and polishing audio once recorded
Like text-based AI systems, it's definitely worth checking the audio after you've run it through whichever software you're using. Sometimes sounds you want removed might have been missed, or vice versa, things you wanted in have been taken out!

Digital marketing and social media

  • Captioning videos
Some auto-captioning AI systems are better than others. None of them have 100% accuracy. They can be a brilliant time saving tool allowing you to make your online content more accessible for a wider audience, but it's definitely worth checking them before you publish for any mistakes!


  • Writing formulas
  • Designing interlinked spreadsheets
  • Creating formulas which draw on multiple online sources
  • Troubleshooting faulty formulas
The accuracy of the formulas AI chatbots can write for you is not 100% - you might run into errors or faulty logic, but you can return to the AI to ask it to troubleshoot for you, or explain what went wrong, and it might be able to find the solution!

Creating visual art

  • Turning your sketches into 'formalised' drawings, photos or images
  • Turning written prompts into images

There are obvious grey areas when it comes to creating visual art through AI systems - particularly around authenticity, ethics, and copyright. We see such software as an opportunity to brainstorm, expand ideas, and further develop the projects you're working on. 

It's difficult to generate an image in the precise aesthetic or vibe that you ask the AI for - often it will produce something a bit different, perhaps slightly odd. We think it's best to use these tools for your own brainstorming if you're unsure, rather than for creating the final product!

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Disclaimer: the information gathered for this podcast episode and resource was researched individually by members of the Shape Arts team. Owing, in part to the constantly evolving landscape of AI, and also to individual team capacity, Shape Arts cannot guarantee the quality or consistency of any of the third party apps referred to above. We are eager to maintain this resource as the context further develops, as well as to factor in suggestions, recommendations, and insights from our users. Please get in touch if you feel you can contribute!

Banner image description: bright blue graphic with superimposed yellow stars and magenta, cartoon microphone. To the right of the image is a magenta circle with a white line-drawn illustration within, representing AI as a human-like head filled with microchip and computer-like symbols.