Speechmatics Helps Broadcasters Get Names Right

Language is nowhere near as static as you’d think. Speechmatics’ Custom Dictionary is smart enough to recognize context and pairs of words to ensure it gets the spelling right.

Speechmatics has launched Custom Dictionary (CD), a new feature for its automatic speech recognition (ASR) speech-to-text transcription product. Live broadcast subtitling has a recognised problem when it comes to both people's names and locations. Custom Dictionary (CD) allows users to add context- specific words such as player names or breaking news locations in real-time to increase their accuracy.

Traditionally, transcription providers have to train each specific model for a customer to include special words. However, setting up a new model is time-consuming, usually requiring an overnight rebuild. Custom Dictionary streamlines the entire process by putting the customer in control and allowing them to add new words in plain text to “teach” the model, regardless of use case or language context.

Speechmatics' CD enables users to define the context of a conversation in advance, and input those difficult terms into the dictionary, so that when they do come up they are transcribed without error. For example, sports subtitling is dramatically improved with prior input of player names, venues and club names.

While developing CD, accuracy remained a top priority, as customers indicated this to be key to improving their value propositions. Speechmatics has successfully improved text accuracy rates and already comprehensive dictionary by dynamically adapting to the context of individual use cases. When compared directly to Google’s Cloud Speech, and with both Speechmatics’ CD and Google’s API “hints” features enabled, Speechmatics produced a transcript that was >12% more accurate.

Benedikt von Thüngen, Speechmatics CEO explained, “Accuracy is still the key metric for speech recognition systems and it has remained top of mind throughout the development of our solutions at Speechmatics. Understanding what has been said is key and everyone speaks using different acronyms and terminology that is bespoke to them. With CD we now offer the first step towards personalized transcription.”

Ian Firth, VP of Products at Speechmatics said, “In case of the broadcast industry, closed captioning is an area that desperately needs improvement. From the outdated re-speaking approach to very awkward blunders, the lack of innovation can cause a lot of errors. Custom Dictionary simplifies and improves closed captioning for broadcast."

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