27.05.2023 - ICT, Innovation, Technology

WhatsApp transcription system developed by Latvian company

Forward IT Consulting is working on earz.ai, a voice recognition and translation system, which converts WhatsApp voice messages into written text automatically.

Currently, anyone can download the free trial version. The basic functionality is 100% ready to use, but the team is working on improving voice recognition quality and additional features like automatic message translation that will be ready soon.

Dmitrijs Jemeļjanovs came up with the idea of converting WhatsApp voice messages into text messages when encountering a certain problem in his daily life. When he would receive a voice message in public, he often could not play it out loud due to being at work, at a cafe or other public place.

‘’Without a doubt, a huge part of this initiative was my oldest son’s school group chat where the teacher sent important news in the form of voice messages. All 30 of the parents had to listen to it. Therefore, essential messages were often missed and not listened to,’’ he reveals.

The team has been working on earz.ai since November 2022. When asked about the tool’s precision level, Jemeļjanovs states that the quality of the voice recognition depends largely on the language of the speaker. It reaches the highest level of precision when a voice message is recorded in English, Italian, or Spanish. In these cases, the level is close to 100%. “When it comes to Latvian, the precision level is currently 77%, which, considering the nature of WhatApp, is enough to understand the context of the message. Nevertheless, we aim to reach 95% precision for Latvian,’’ he states.

Plans to work with public sector too

The company’s main priority is to adapt the product to the market. The team plans to study user needs and gear the product towards them. They intend to offer the product to government institutions too. “For example, Latvijas Radio has announced a procurement for audio content transcription module development. We’ve already prepared our offer because this solution is almost ready on our part,’’ states Jemeļjanovs.

It is no secret that other companies too provide solutions that convert voice into text. “We’re more modern and open to developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). As a small team (currently consisting of eight members), our advantages are efficiency, flexibility and the ability to introduce the latest technology into our projects,’’ Jemeļjanovs shares.

Specialises in artificial intelligence solutions

Forward IT Consulting specialises in AI solutions. The company has worked in the industry for 10 years – way before AI became popular. “Back then, I was employed as an IT expert and received an offer to assist in developing the financial system for a client from the USA. That became my first project. At first, I worked alone until I realised that I needed help. During this time, I received offers from other clients,’’ Jemeļjanovs gives insight into his past.

He was keen to establish a company focused on AI and now recognises that this has paid off. In recent years, the company’s revenue has exceeded 100 thousand euros a year.

Among the company’s clients are such brands as Printify, VMF Latvia, and Koksnes plūsmas datu centrs. Lately, there has been considerable growth in demand for AI solutions for manufacturing process automation and quality control. “Despite how long our company has existed, the number of people employed at any one time has never exceeded 10. With the growing demand for our services, this could soon change,’’ he considers.

Experience is never lost

Forward IT Consulting’s most renowned product in Latvia is PhotoLab – the facial recognition tool that allows you to quickly find a person’s face in big digital galleries. Jemeļjanovs says that PhotoLab was very popular from 2015 until 2018, when the company stored approximately 300 thousand pictures and processed approximately 40 thousand search queries. PhotoLab collaborated with big sports events like Big Bank Skrien Latvija, Stirnu Buks, Nike Riga Run and Sieviešu skrējiens. 

“Unfortunately, we decided that the upkeep was not profitable, and so PhotoLab had to be shut down, however, we gained valuable experience from the project. It still helps us in developing our own products and realising client projects,’’ he explains.

Author: Anda Asere (www.labsoflatvia.com)
Publicity photo: Dmitrijs Jemeļjanovs

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