Voiceitt Tests Next-Gen Voice AI in Pilot for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Machine Learning

At the program hosted by Newlab, Voiceitt will demonstrate the flexibility and inclusivity of its next-generation speech recognition technology for English-speaking deaf and hard-of-hearing people with non-standard speech.

Voice It, IsraelVoiceitt, a leading voice recognition technology for non-standard voices, announced the successful completion of a collaborative pilot to validate its inclusive voice AI with people who are hearing impaired. Voiceitt's technology is built for people with non-standard voices, and its proprietary voice database includes voice recordings of people with impaired and atypical voices to augment and improve Voiceitt's voice AI models. This database of non-standard voices enables Voiceitt to deliver a more inclusive and accurate experience. Voiceitt further improves its recognition of non-standard voices by providing personalized recognition for individuals who provide a minimum of 200 recordings.

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The pilot was facilitated by Newlab, a deep tech venture platform that works closely with innovators to build, test and scale cutting-edge technologies. The goal of the pilot was to demonstrate Voiceitt's speech recognition accuracy improvement with deaf accents and provide qualitative insights to evaluate effective use cases for voice AI among deaf and hard of hearing people.

Jamie Lupinet“The Voiceitt pilot aligns directly with our studio's goal of piloting with startups committed to impact-driven advancements in language services. The success of the pilot will serve as the basis for strategic collaborations that can have far-reaching impacts for our customers and the community at large,” said Newlab's director, who ran the pilot.

According to the National Hearing Loss Association, 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. While adoption of voice-enabled smart speakers and other devices is growing, people who have nonstandard speech due to hearing loss or hearing loss often can’t access and enjoy these devices, with pilot program participants stating that “the devices barely understand what they’re saying.” Not only is speech recognition more convenient than typing, some participants noted that interpreters with people who are hearing-impaired don’t always accurately convey what the speaker is trying to express. Another pilot program participant explained that when individuals discuss sensitive topics, they may not want a third-party interpreter present, and comprehensive speech recognition would help prevent “communication breakdowns” and be better understood.

“Speech recognition technology can be extremely valuable for people who are deaf or hard of hearing,” says heart researcher Tyler Pujeda. Boston He took part in the pilot and is now an active user of Voiceitt's application: “The new comprehensive product helps us feel heard and understood.”

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The pilot also analyzed quantitative results of Voiceitt's proprietary speech recognition software, measuring accuracy using the Word Error Rate (WER) metric and comparing Voiceitt to the industry-leading speech recognition providers. Deaf users who participated in the pilot achieved an average of 8% WER (over 90% accuracy) after training the system on 200 recordings. Voiceitt's system also achieved higher accuracy than the industry-leading software for deaf users with non-standard speech who participated in the pilot, despite not receiving any training at all.

doctor Rachel LevyDr. Levy, a speech-language pathologist and customer success manager at Voiceitt, emphasized that while Voiceitt has historically focused on people with a range of speech disorders, the pilot project presented a unique opportunity. “The pilot project demonstrated Voiceitt's compatibility and increased accuracy with deaf speech,” said Dr. Levy. “However, the most significant impact came from the feedback and insights we gathered from pilot project participants, which directly influenced the development of solutions tailored to the needs and preferences of the deaf community and other communities we serve and support.”

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