This California-Based Startup Empowers Deaf And Hard Of Hearing People To See Who Says What Around Them, Using State-Of-The-Art Live Captioning and AI Speech Recognition

Ava is an AI-based startup headquartered in San Francisco, California, the United States. With the help of machine learning, Ava empowers around 400 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing to have in-person conversations anytime and everywhere. It provides Ava Scribe, a state-of-the-art live captioning blend of human and artificial intelligence. Ava raised more than $4 million in the recent Seed funding rounds, which takes the company’s total funding to $6.3 million. The funding will be used to better the already existing technology and algorithms and at the same time reach more people all across the world to allow accessible conversations.

The organisation was established in 2014 by Pieter Doevendans, Skinner Cheng and Thibault Duchemin. The company makes live captioning look as easy as turning on the captions on the television screens. Ava’s entire team has worked to reinvent the AI-based speech recognition technology to make it best-suited for individuals who genuinely benefit from it. The company’s primary aim is to have a world that is accessible 24×7 and that there are no communication barriers for anyone. For this very reason, Ava looks at communication skills the most and wants to perfect them from every angle possible.

Ava claims that around 150,000 people and leading organizations use its technology, thereby making the world a more inclusive place. The team’s focus is to develop software that makes communication as effective and as authentic as possible so that no individual is barred from creativity and success. 

Ava works on various platforms in two ways:

  • Ava Closed captions – for Mac, Windows, and Web
  • Ava App – for iOS and Android

It can be used in a diverse setting, such as in conference calls; instant captions are made available with just a click irrespective of the tool being used. In the educational environment, the teacher must put on a Bluetooth earpiece connected to a device that makes instant captions for whatever is being taught. The artificial intelligence algorithms add proper vocabulary to the captions and professionals who work at the company to ensure the highest possible accuracy.

The Ava platform did a public test net launch and claimed that its servers are highly scalable and allow thousands of transactions in one second. The newest skill that has been added to the servers of Ava is translation. Several languages are supported by the organization that can be translated on the computer directly and in real-time.

The company is even looking at building new applications for the finance sector in particular and is running hackathons for the students. It also claims to offer cash prizes to the students who can either develop new applications for the financial products and services or identify and fix the bugs.

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Amreen Bawa is a consulting intern at MarktechPost. Along with pursuing BA Hons in Social Sciences from Panjab University, Chandigarh, she is also a keen learner and writer, having special interest in the application and scope of artificial intelligence in various facets of life.

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