DefinedCrowd Releases AI Models for Non-Native English Speakers

DefinedCrowd, a provider of artificial intelligence training data, has released the first of a series of free Spanish-accented English speech datasets to allow AI developers to test how well their speech recognition models understand non-native English speakers, a demographic represented by more than 35 million people in the United States.

"There is an accent gap in speech technology. Research shows that speech recognition technologies are not nearly as accurate in understanding nonnative accents as they are in understanding white, non-immigrant, upper-middle-class Americans," said Daniela Braga, founder and CEO of DefinedCrowd, in a statement. "Unfortunately, it has resulted in models that are more useful to some people than to others. And that must change."

"For companies with AI solutions to compete in the large nonnative English-speaking market in the U.S., speech models need to be able to understand a wide range of different Spanish accents, originating from all the Americas," said Christopher Shulby, director of machine learning engineering at DefinedCrowd, in a statement.

The first dataset, released in two phases, includes Spanish-accented English data from the Americas. Subsequent releases will include datasets from native Spanish speakers from around the world. The datasets represent speakers aged 18 to 40 with an equal distribution of male and female speakers.

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