If you’ve ever asked Siri to set an alarm and ended up with directions to the nearest farm, you know the importance of accurate speech recognition technology.
UK-based speech-to-text company Speechmatics has worked for years to develop better transcription features for SaaS companies. End users range from call center workers to legal professionals to broadcasters.
The company announced it will launch its first U.S. location in Denver, Denver Business Journal reported Wednesday. It will start with 10 employees at a temporary location but intends to find permanent space by the end of 2020 and grow its team to 20 to 30 people. The Denver office will house mainly sales and technical support roles.
Speechmatics sprung from founder Tony Robinson’s doctoral research at Cambridge in machine learning and neural networks. In the 1980s, the computing power necessary for Robinson’s vision of AI-powered speech recognition did not yet exist. He didn’t abandon his idea, however, and in 2016, he launched Speechmatics.
Unlike competitors, Speechmatics sells its product directly to the software platforms end users already rely on for transcription, closed captioning or other services, its CEO John Milliken told DBJ. It works with 30 languages as well as a variety of accents and dialects, and the company can build a new language to-order in about a month.
Because of the tool’s accuracy — including capitalization and punctuation — users save hours transcribing or sifting through audio content, the company says.
Speechmatics makes money by charging hourly for automated transcription. About half the company’s income comes from its UK customers, and the other half from the U.S, DBJ reported.