Speech Technology Magazine

 

Speechmatics Releases Automatic Linguist

Speechmatics' Automatic Linguist offers a unique AI framework capable of learning new languages in a matter of days.
Posted Nov 8, 2017
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Speechmatics has launched Automatic Linguist (AL), an artificial intelligence-powered framework that drastically improves the speed at which new languages are built for use in speech-to-text transcription. AL can learn any language in the world in a matter of days and also allows for the rapid iteration, improvement, and adaption of existing languages.

Using Machine Learning, AL can learn the initial base of a language in less than a day. This is partly due to the fact that it applies patterns from one language to another. Most languages have inherent similarities in their fundamental sounds (sometimes represented as phonemes) and grammatical structures. AL can recognize patterns within and across languages and apply these to a new language build.

So far AL has learned 28 languages, including Japanese, Hindi, Russian, and Korean, in rapid succession, with the focus shifting to languages that have fewer native speakers worldwide.

"The world is increasingly connected and technologically dependent. Serving many of our international blue-chip customers, such as Adobe, requires our product to be available in all languages. Given resource constraints, we had to come up with something new. Combining our deep understanding of speech recognition systems and machine learning, we built AL and tested our hypothesis that there are sufficient similarities between languages so that computers can learn them," said Benedikt von Thüngen, CEO of Speechmatics, in a statement. "After building the major European languages, we tried AL on Japanese, and it worked. This now enables us to pursue building any language in the world and support our global customer base."

"We are already seeing a shift to a speech-enabled future where voice is the primary form of communication. Transcription not only eases the lives of many people, but opens the door for new opportunities, especially in regions with lower literacy rates," added Tom Ash, speech recognition director at Speechmatics, in a statement. "There are over 7,000 languages in the world, and our ultimate goal is to make speech recognition technology available to as many as possible."


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