Backed by $5.5M in seed funding, Sanas’ accent matching solution makes it easier for people to understand each other in customer service centers, remote tech support, education, telemedicine and more.
PALO ALTO, Calif. /ACCESSWIRE/August 30, 2021/ A major challenge and frustration in global communications, even when people speak the same language, is understanding an unfamiliar accent. This situation of accent mismatch can become a major inefficiency in business and risks serious misunderstandings. To foster seamless communication in all areas of business, education, telemedicine, entertainment and more, Sanas will officially launch the world’s first real-time speech accent translation technology. Their solution will be used by seven BPOs (Business Process Outsourcers) worldwide from the fall of this year. Today, the company is also announcing its $5.5 million seed funding.
Without noticeable lag or edge deployment, patent-pending Sanas software intercepts audio and converts accents through a speech-to-speech approach, building a virtual bridge between audio device and computer, then sending the new signal to any communication application. (Zoom, Hangouts, etc.) is in use. Almost instantly, the accent of a customer service representative, for example, will match the accent of an incoming caller.
Major venture capital funds investing in the company’s $5.5 million round include Human Capital, General Catalyst, Quiet Capital and DN Capital. Speech industry veterans joining the Sanas Advisory Board include Wendell Brown (co-founder, Liveops, Teleo, eVoice) and Steven G. Chambers (former president of Nuance). The funds will be used to expand the engineering team and introduce the software to more global markets.
“The world has shrunk and people are doing business globally, while at the same time having real difficulty understanding each other. Even getting Google Home or Alexa to understand accents accurately is extremely important,” said Sanas CEO Maxim Serebryakov. “Digital communication is essential to our daily lives. Sanas strives to make communication easy and frictionless, so people can speak confidently and understand each other, wherever they are and with whom they are trying to communicate. “
Sanas was created by a team of Stanford engineering students and machine speech learning experts. The first application of the technology is in customer service centers, an industry where accent issues can be particularly problematic.
“As an immigrant from Turkey, I have always believed that getting rid of the accent barrier was a critical next step for a fairer and more prosperous world,” said Baris Akis, president and co-founder of Human Capital. . “It was amazing to partner with such a mission-driven team that pushes the boundaries of voice technology to make it a reality.”
Research by external sources has found that by eliminating this accent barrier, companies benefit from increased customer satisfaction, sales and communication effectiveness. Additionally, Sanas internal studies have shown an increase in foreign language fluency, as well as a decrease in word error rate (15% on industry-leading Automatic Speech Recognition or ASR devices ).
The idea for Sanas was inspired by the experience of three international friends from Russia, China and Venezuela, who all have very different accents. They witnessed firsthand the difficulty of communication due to accents and saw a mutual friend quit his job because of this challenge. They realized there had to be a better way to communicate.
“We plan to bring accent matching technology to a range of industries and environments well beyond customer service and tech support, which are two very obvious use cases,” Serebryakov said. “There are also creative use cases such as those in entertainment and media where producers can make their movies and programs understandable in different parts of the world by matching accents to localities. We are also exploring how machines can better interpret what people are saying. We’ve only begun to explore the possibilities.”
Media files, images here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Aq3URFSz6E-NoaCVcfn4vbVpdEXMLZgK?usp=sharing
Sanas was created by three Stanford students from the famed Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) with the goal of helping the world understand and be understood, and with the ultimate goal of unlocking potential through understanding and increased communication effectiveness in digital conversations. Based in Palo Alto, California, Sanas members and advisors are some of the world’s top machine-speech learning scientists. For more information, visit sanas.ai.
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