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How to beat Google’s speech recognition technology


We’re pretty sure there’s not a person alive on this Earth who’s never heard of Google.

The internet platform has become the leading search engine in the world, setting the standards and raising the bar for digital technology algorithms. Google has since embarked on speech recognition technology which utilizes the concepts behind closed captioning and video transcripts.

In recent years they have made improvements on their speech recognition platforms. When speaking of AI developments, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, “We’ve been using voice as an input across many of our products, that’s because computers are getting much better at understanding speech. We have had significant breakthroughs, but the pace even since last year has been pretty amazing to see. Our word error rate continues to improve even in very noisy environments. This is why if you speak to Google on your phone or Google Home, we can pick up your voice accurately.”

At Verbit, having taken Googles improvements into close consideration, we’ve compiled a list of ways to beat their speech recognition technology by doing it ourselves for our own models.

We are helping companies with their speech recognition needs and training their exact audio data with our proprietary transcription technology. While companies would buy generic data models from Fisher or others, we can impact the models with the customer’s own data.

The way that we do it is through a mix of technology and people.

At Verbit, we pride ourselves on having built an adaptive ASR (Automated Speech Recognition) technology to recognize all types of human voices, even with low quality audio and confusing terminology. Our proprietary ASR which is furthermore specifically trained for the domain of the customer, through the use of Artificial intelligence – something we at Verbit use to our advantage.


This is part of the three layer loop process which consists of the following:

  1. Proprietary ASR (Automated Speech Recognition) Technology– the process defined above. This layer is highly accurate creating (87%-95%) transcribed jobs in a matter of minutes.
  2. The transcript is then passed on to the editors and reviewers. Here they aim to ensure that the transcript becomes a error free transcript with more than +99% accuracy.
  3. The final layer is the assessment stage which is done in order to oversee any evident errors using AI. It’s also in this layer where the content is trained for new contexts and different accents.

By using a three layer loop process in Verbit’s voice recognition process, the accuracy and efficiency are always improving, as we are utilizing our own data to improve our acoustic algorithms. The hybrid model also makes for a excellent customer experience in that we are able to manage, monitor, and modify jobs in a timely yet effective manner.

Pricing, accuracy, and turnaround time has become Verbit’s significant benchmark and we use this as a platform to beat competitors such as Google in speech recognition technology.

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The 4 core pillars of Universal Design

College is a time when students get to taste independence, living away from their families and the familiar confines of their hometowns for the very first time. This can prove especially demanding as they become immersed in a more rigorous and often less personalized academic environment. These circumstances can feel even more taxing for students with disabilities, who have an extra set of challenges to contend with on top of the difficulties that come with adjusting to a brand new environment.

Universities usually provide accommodations for students with disabilities through a designated disability services office. The flaw in this model is that it tries to fit individuals with disabilities into a system that may not be well-designed for them, often to unsuccessful results. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a disability are less likely to have completed a bachelor’s degree than people without. Among Americans aged 25 and older, only 16.4% of people with a disability had completed an undergraduate degree, compared to 34.6% of people with no disability.

To improve, accessibility must be integrated into every aspect of the university experience, starting with academics. Facilities and academics should be constructed with this concept in mind, rather than it being relegated to a consideration after the fact.

In this blog series on increasing campus accessibility, we will take a deep dive into four key areas that are critical to breaking down the barriers, both physical and digital, to enable a truly accessible campus environment, where all students have an equal opportunity to succeed. Since academics are at the core of the university experience, this will be our starting point on our journey toward total accessibility.

The Importance of Universal Design

At all academic levels, instructors encounter students with a variety of backgrounds, learning styles and abilities. Some students learn best visually, others are auditory learners and some prefer to absorb information by reading. Maybe English isn’t their first language. Or, perhaps the student has a physical, sensory or learning difficulty. The goal of higher education is to maximize learning for all students, and incorporating the principles of universal design into instruction helps achieve this objective.

Here are the four main principles to keep in mind:

1. Be proactive

Professors should anticipate student needs and plan for individuals with diverse characteristics by putting together an inclusive curriculum, rather than accommodating students after the fact. Course content should be built with accessibility in mind from the very beginning, rather than making the materials accessible later.

2. One size doesn’t fit all

All students have their own unique learning style, so it’s important to diversify teaching methods using auditory, visual and kinesthetic techniques to appeal to all types of learners and subvert the typical lecture format. Incorporating interactive elements like class discussions, audiovisual materials and even movement exercises all involve different skills for all kinds of students.

3. Flexibility is key

Curriculum materials should be accessible in multiple ways in order to reach all students. Because audio and video materials have become mainstays of the modern learning process, academic transcription is now a must. It’s critical to provide transcripts and captions for students with hearing impairments, as well as for those who prefer to learn by reading. In particular, live captioning has the potential to greatly impact students by allowing active comprehension and engagement in real time.

4. Fair Evaluations

Tests and exams should include questions that require a variety of types of responses, such as multiple choice or essays. It’s important to consider modified testing methods as well, such as having questions read aloud to students or alternative testing locations. Employing different kinds of questions and testing styles appeals to all students’ strengths and ensures a fair balance during decisive evaluations that affect student grades and GPAs.

Inclusivity in Action

The University of Colorado Boulder has implemented a Universal Design service as a resource for implementing best practices in course design. They offer educators workshops, one-on-one consultations as well as a detailed accessibility checklist.

Beyond the classroom, the philosophy of universal design should extend to all educational activities such as tutoring and learning centres. This way, no one is left behind and students of all abilities have an equal shot at success.

While enabling accessible academics is a key first step, it cannot operate in isolation, as other elements are critically important toward the overall goal of complete accessibility. The next chapters in this series will explore these other elements in greater detail. Stay tuned!

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