AiThority Interview Series with Tom Livne, CEO & Founder, Verbit
How is the CART solution currently being used in higher ed?
Today, CART solutions are being used as a means to provide an equal opportunity to hard of hearing students in a class.
What is interesting to see is how CART services not only help HoH students be active and engaged in their classes in real time but in fact, they help any student keep up with the class lecture and eventually improve their grades.
How does this benefit students in higher ed?
Our technology helps make higher education more accessible for anyone with a desire to learn, in particular, the deaf and hard of hearing community, many of whom would not be able to consume academic lectures or video content without transcripts and captions. Obtaining a college degree is a major predictor for success and quality of life. Verbit contributes to removing that traditional barrier and makes it possible for individuals with disabilities to benefit from a college education, and reap the positive outcomes that go along with it.
Do you plan on expanding this real-time solution to any other industries?
Yes, we plan on expanding the real-time transcription solution to the legal industry within a couple of months.
What gave you the idea to start an AI transcription company?
Transcribing audio is time-consuming, often tedious and, as a result, humans are prone to make mistakes when they do it. AI machines excel in precisely these kinds of scenarios. There’s a mistaken belief that no machine, no matter how sophisticated, can match or surpass the accuracy capable of being achieved by a human being. This notion is especially pervasive in highly specialized fields like the legal sector, which is also traditionally resistant to technology adoption. We’re changing these ideas by proving the efficacy of our solution in terms of accuracy, cost and turnaround time. Of course, human intelligence will always be required to supervise the AI and apply advanced reasoning and interpretation. Our mission is to show that the solution streamlines workflows and simplifies lives and, despite being complex, the technology is intuitive and easy to use.
Can you tell us about how the ASR technology works?
Verbit incorporates the latest advances in deep learning, neural networks, and natural language understanding into an adaptive learning cycle that trains its algorithm to improve transcription accuracy over time. The core AI-powered automated speech recognition engine automatically converts audio to text. A sophisticated module analyses the text file to identify the topic, an industry breakthrough unique to Verbit’s solution. Support to the technical output is provided by a network of highly skilled human transcribers. The end result is unparalleled accuracy and speed, to increase operational capacity and boost profit margins for organizations in the higher education and legal industries.
How did you get your start in transcription?
Before I found myself in the world of tech startups, I actually began my career in law, where transcripts are essential. I was often unsatisfied with the slow turnaround time and insufficient accuracy of the legal transcripts I received. This stuck in the back of my mind as I moved on to my next professional endeavor as a commercial banking associate. I had always been an entrepreneur at heart, and I decided to take that leap and start my own tech company. Drawing on my prior experience with legal transcription, I felt that this was an important need in the market and that a viable solution could be found with the right technology.
When did speech technology first become part of the education experience (to your knowledge)?
Early forms of speech recognition technology began to emerge in the 1950’s and 60’s, progressing from only recognizing digits to understanding a handful of English words. The 1973 Rehabilitation Act changed the face of speech technology in education, as it required all universities receiving federal funds to make accommodations for students with disabilities. This effectively made captioning and transcription of audiovisual content a necessity in all public universities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 expanded the minimum requirements that universities needed to meet, strengthening the demand for speech technology in learning institutions and cementing their status as fixtures of the learning environment.
Why is speech technology well-suited to improve education and its outcomes?
Both the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA require all educational materials to be completely accessible for students with disabilities. For students with hearing impairments, having access to transcribed or captioned content is an invaluable resource that enables academic success, without obstacles. The same can be said for students with learning disabilities or for students who are not native speakers of the language of instruction. Distance learning is an increasingly popular phenomenon, as more universities are now offering complete degree programs online. In this context, where the entirety of the learning process depends on audiovisual materials, speech technology like transcription and caption tools are key elements of the learning process and essential for student success.
Have you seen an uptick in the number of speech technology related solutions being used in schools?
There has definitely been an increase in adoption of speech technology over the years. One of the factors driving this is that universities do not want to get caught violating federal regulations, as the consequences could be very costly. Prominent institutions like Harvard and MIT have faced legal action for not providing adequate accommodations for students requiring transcribed or captioned content. Many universities are taking heed and ensuring that they have the tools in place to provide equal access. Another factor accounting for the uptick is simplicity. Speech technology solutions make the process of transcribing content much easier while producing highly accurate results at a quicker rate and for a lower cost than traditional methods.
Thank you, Tom! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.
Tom Livne is the CEO and co-founder of Verbit, an AI-powered transcription and captioning solution based in Tel Aviv, Israel. An entrepreneur at heart, he possesses vast experience with every aspect of the tech startup lifecycle, including go-to-market, product strategy, marketing and fundraising, with a particular emphasis on SaaS business models. Tom’s background is especially strong in leadership and growth management, where he specializes in team building for high tech companies, helping them to expand globally.
Verbit harnesses the power of artificial and human intelligence to provide a smart transcription and captioning solution. Built on adaptive algorithms, it is the only technology that generates the most detailed speech-to-text files to provide over 99% accuracy, delivered at record-breaking speed. Smart AI technology supports on-demand CART services for real-time results. Verbit’s customized solution helps organizations maximize the potential of their audio and video files by making information searchable, accessible and actionable