Meet The 2023 Go:Tech Awards Winners: Speechmatics

Speechmatics claimed the prestigious AI/Machine Learning Award at the 2023 Go:Tech Awards, impressing the judging panel with its outstanding performance. Once again, the judges were amazed by the exceptional companies competing for this year’s honours.

AI is currently dominating business conversations across all industries due to its potential to disrupt, enhance, and revolutionise the operations of leaders and employees.

As expected, this category witnessed a highly competitive field of outstanding entries, presenting the judges with a challenging task. With a recent investment of $62m (£47.1m), this company is leveraging AI to build a high-growth business that effectively caters to its customers’ needs, boasting a workforce of over 150 employees.

We caught up with the team at Speechmatics after scooping the Go:Tech Awards trophy to talk inspiration, breakthroughs and more.

Can you share with us the inspiration behind your winning business and how it addresses a specific industry challenge or opportunity?

Speechmatics strives to understand every voice. We aim to unlock human potential, increase the inclusivity of speech recognition engines, and lower bias through natural interaction with intelligent machines. Last year, we broke through a significant number of boundaries standing in the way of making our aim a reality by unlocking the potential of millions of hours of unlabelled data through the integration of deep self-supervised learning into our technology.

Since the award application, we have made significant strides with the launch of Ursa in early 2023. This ground-breaking technology showcases an unparalleled capability to accurately transcribe challenging speech. This has led us to release features such as Real-Time Translation and Summarization.

Could you describe the key milestones or breakthroughs you achieved during the development of your project, and how they contributed to its success?

Speechmatics has developed its own family of self-supervised speech algorithms. This new capability leads the industry, as the first commercial engine available, built using self-supervised acoustic models. This accuracy step-change allows customers to unlock unprecedented value from their voice data.

Speechmatics’ self-supervised speech algorithms mean we no longer rely on ‘labelled’ data – all available data representing all voices ‘counts’. By using this type of machine learning we can help correct the discrepancies and inequalities found in speech technology. No longer will speech technology only ‘hear’ those voices most favoured in labelled datasets.

Our technology is now trained on unlabelled 1.1 million hours of audio – an increase from 30,000 hours, which has already delivered a far more comprehensive representation of all voices and dramatically reduced AI bias and errors.

The key milestone was moving to be able to use over 1 million hours through our novel self-supervised machine learning model to improve our accuracy across multiple accents and noisy environments.

Our engine unlocks the potential of speech technology for the future.

As a winner at the Go:Tech Awards, what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs or innovators who are looking to make a difference in the technology sector?

Starting your entrepreneurial journey with a genuine passion for the technology sector is crucial. It will fuel your motivation during challenges and maintain your commitment to your vision in the long run. When identifying market problems or inefficiencies, ensure you stay agile.

Since the technology sector is constantly evolving, it’s essential to remain adaptable. This will enable you to adjust to changing market dynamics, customer demands, competitors, and emerging technologies. Embrace new opportunities as they appear and fit your mission.

Best of luck!

Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs considering entering the Go:Tech Awards in the future?

Go for it! Stay consistent in your vision and mission and persistent, don’t get discouraged, and use any feedback to learn and grow. The Go:Tech Awards is a great opportunity to network and learn. You are in a room filled with intelligent individuals from the technology sector challenge yourself to engage in 10 meaningful conversations.

Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your business?

The future is looking bright for Speechmatics, thanks in large part to our tech team’s expertise in harnessing the power of AI and Machine Learning. We hope to continue to make breakthroughs like the innovation we’ve discussed and we’re confident that we will stay ahead as a company in the AI era.

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