Nuvoic Project – January 2023 update
Now into the final few months of the Nuvoic Project, our participants continue to make amazing contributions to the development of Voiceitt’s accessible voice technology. Having collectively submitted over 24,000 recordings to Voiceitt’s database of atypical speech, some participants are now starting to test Voiceitt’s new dictation tool, designed for users with dysarthric speech to transcribe their words in real-time.
Progress review: from single phrases to real-time transcription for spontaneous atypical speech
Since 2020, our team has supported people whose speech and communication is affected by conditions such as cerebral palsy, stroke, brain injury, Down’s syndrome and motor neurone disease, to test and help improve Voiceitt’s accessible speech recognition. Voiceitt supports communication and voice control of smart technologies, enabling users to be more independent and autonomous, and to have their voices heard.
Many of our early participants asked for more flexible recognition from Voiceitt – for the app to interpret whatever they want to say without having to stick to pre-trained phrases. In 2021 Voiceitt launched Ensemble, asking people with atypical speech to donate recordings to help work towards this goal. So far, 39 Nuvoic participants have registered and between them have submitted an incredible 24,000 recordings ?? Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone who’s contributed!
During 2022, Voiceitt used these recordings to work on real-time recognition for spontaneous speech, as shown in this video: Voiceitt transcription demo video. While in the early stages, this is exciting progress with promising applications for in-person communication, captioning, dictation and device control. Our first few participants are now starting to test the transcription tool and we’re excited to see the results – watch this space!
We’re still accepting new participants, now including children under 13, so please get in touch if you or people you support would like to get involved. Please see our web pages or contact our project co-ordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In November the Nuvoic team attended the TechAbility conference in Birmingham. Project Co-ordinator Liz co-presented with AT Manager Dave Hursthouse from Leonard Cheshire, describing how our teams have collaborated to support residents at Hill House Care Home take part in Nuvoic. We spoke to lots of delegates about the project at our exhibition stand and saw some great presentations from other organisations.
In December, Voiceitt’s Customer Service Manager and Speech Therapist Rachel Levy was interviewed about Voiceitt’s latest developments by the Indata Project for their Assistive Technology Update podcast.
Upcoming events include a short slot at Tech For Disability’s Startup Showcase on 25th January, and the International Conference on Disability and Diversity on 16th February, where our Technologist Geena will present on behalf of the Nuvoic team.
As Nuvoic draws to a close in April, we’ll be sadly losing our two Project Technologists, Sean Connolly and Geena Vabulas, at the end of February. Sean and Geena have made a huge and much-valued contribution to the project over the past two years, delivering excellent support to participants, families and support teams, and helping to promote and disseminate our work in many different settings. Both are moving on to exciting new roles where we wish them every success. Thank you both for playing such key roles in Nuvoic, you will be much missed by the Karten team and all those you’ve worked with!
Get in touch!
We would love to hear from you if you, or someone you know may be interested in taking part in donating speech samples or testing Voiceitt’s technology. Please email our project co-ordinator: email@example.com, or you can find more information and get in touch via our project web pages.