Koemei recognized as Technology Pioneer 2014

29.08.2013 09:31

The World Economic Forum has selected 36 start-ups from around the globe as Technology Pioneers. Amongst them is the Swiss start-up Koemei.

The World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneers programme recognizes companies, normally in a start-up phase, from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies, and are set to have a significant impact on business and society. Technology Pioneers must demonstrate visionary leadership and show signs of being long-standing market leaders – their technology must be proven. Each year the World Economic Forum chooses a select number of Technology Pioneers from hundreds of applicants.

One of the selcted start-ups this year is Komei, a young company based in Martigny. Komei’s solution is able to transcribe video using innovative automated speech recognition software, developed over seven years by academics at the Idiap Research Institute. Deciphering human-to-human speech is a much more complex task than understanding the human-to-machine speech found in automated call centres.

The software can transcribe lectures and long-form discussions, distinguishing among up to 10 voices for around a 20th of the cost of manual transcriptions. While independently benchmarked as the most accurate automatic transcription service currently available, it is still not perfect; hence, Koemei adds an interface for humans to check and correct the transcription, which can be crowdsourced to learners if desired.

Koemei has recently started to offer French as well as English transcriptions, and is working on German and Mandarin. It can be customized to handle fields with specialized vocabulary, such as medicine. Koemei’s API makes it possible to use it beyond the training and education sector, though its focus is firmly on making learning and knowledge accessible to all.

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