Serious Discussion Firefox 2024 - AI is coming

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Bringing You the Features You’ve Been Asking For

We've been listening to your feedback, and we're prioritizing the features you want most.
  • Productivity boosters like
    • Tab Grouping, Vertical Tabs, and our handy Sidebar will help you stay organized no matter how many tabs you have open -- whether it’s 7 or 7,500.
    • Plus, our new Profile Management system will help keep your school, work, and personal browsing separate but easily accessible.
  • Customizable new tab wallpapers that will let you choose from a diverse range of photography, colors, and abstract images that suits you most.
  • Intuitive privacy settings that deliver all the power of our world-class anti-tracking technologies in a simplified, easy-to-understand way.
  • More streamlined menus that reduce visual clutter and prioritize top user actions so you can get to the important things quicker.
Making the Most of Your Time Online -- without Sacrifice

Ensuring your privacy is core to everything we do at Firefox. Unlike other companies, who ask you to exchange your data in order to do even basic, everyday things online -- you don’t have to give up your personal information to get a faster, more efficient browser experience with Firefox. Reading a news story in a different language or signing a form for school or work shouldn't require you to give up your privacy. So, we've worked hard to make things like translation and PDF editing in Firefox happen locally on your device, so you don’t have to ship off your personal data to a server farm for a company to use it how they see fit -- to keep tabs on you, sell your information to the highest bidder, or train their AI. With Firefox, you have a lot of choice -- but you don’t have to choose between utility and privacy. Your data is secure, and most importantly, just yours.

We are approaching the use of AI in Firefox -- which many, many of you have been asking about -- in the same way. We’re focused on giving you AI features that solve tangible problems, respect your privacy, and give you real choice.

We’re looking at how we can use local, on-device AI models -- i.e., more private -- to enhance your browsing experience further. One feature we’re starting with next quarter is AI-generated alt-text for images inserted into PDFs, which makes it more accessible to visually impaired users and people with learning disabilities. The alt text is then processed on your device and saved locally instead of cloud services, ensuring that enhancements like these are done with your privacy in mind.
 

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Mozilla is prioritizing features based on user feedback in Firefox 2024. These include productivity boosters like Tab Grouping, Vertical Tabs, Sidebar, and a Profile Management system. Other features are customizable new tab wallpapers, intuitive privacy settings, and streamlined menus. Mozilla emphasizes the importance of privacy and plans to use local, on-device AI models to enhance the browsing experience while maintaining user privacy. The first AI feature being developed is AI-generated alt-text for images in PDFs, beneficial for visually impaired users and people with learning disabilities.
 
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silversurfer

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In a recent post on Mozilla Hacks, Tarek ZIade explained how Firefox will use artificial intelligence to improve accessibility, namely by offering AI-generated image captions for people who rely on assistive technologies, such as screen readers.

Image captions or "alt text" provide the necessary context to readers, but sadly, many writers ignore alt text, resulting in nearly half of all the images missing proper descriptions. With the latest AI advancements, it is now possible to run a local machine-learning model to auto-generate captions without sending potentially sensitive info to servers.

Firefox 130 will ship in the Nightly Channel with a new feature for the PDF editor that will generate alt text using small open-source Transformer-based machine-learning models. Mozilla claims they are good at describing images without a heavy resource tax. Therefore, Firefox users should get image descriptions (first in PDFs) even on less powerful devices.
Source: Firefox will use AI to improve browsing accessibility - Neowin

 

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