An intelligent information system for blind people — AI technology and philosophical aspects
Communication to exchange information is essential for humans. In many fields of communication this has lead to more or less fixed forms that guide or determine the way how people exchange information. This concerns at first a logical layer of the information blocks, i.e., which information has to be transmitted but also a procedural layer describing how the information is send.
A very important domain of communication is the business letter domain. Here, a certain standard has evolved that determines the form of business letters. We distinguish a logical structure and a layout structure that is captured in the international Standard called Office Document Architecture(ODA, ISO 8613 ).
In this paper we discuss the problem of presenting printed documents to blind people who cannot perceive the information provided by the layout structure of a document. We outline how the ODA Standard can be exploited to allow random access to the logical entities of a printed document. This approach is based on a system that has been developed at the DFKI and which has been described in  and which is able to extract the layout information from certain classes of business letters automatically.
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