‘Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom’

Roger Bacon

It was long argued that language is not just a medium of communication but the structure throughout we come to be. CXM believes language has an important role to play in CX, especially considering the new technology improvements. With today’s increment of digital solutions, we have to wonder about the future of communication, and therefore, entire human existence.

With these thoughts in mind, we ran across an intriguing type of translation technology. Sanas, computer software designed to increase the efficacy of communication in digital conversations, is launching the first real-time accent translation technology. According to its founders, the software will be able to translate completely different accents and match them accordingly for better understanding!

An accent matching solution should make it easier for people to understand each other in customer care and remote tech support centres as well as schools, telemedicine, and more. Let’s take a closer look at this interesting solution that might significantly improve CX in some industries.

Finding the solution for better communication

Sanas was established by three international Stanford students coming from Russia, China, and Venezuela – all of whom have very different accents. These three friends set on the mission to remove the challenges of communication and design a simple solution to match accents for better mutual understanding. That’s how the real-time accent translation technology came to be!

An illustration of a man running away from a phone.

These students recognized that understanding an unfamiliar accent can be one of the major challenges in global communication. It can even become a huge inefficiency in business and cause serious misunderstandings.

To foster seamless communication in all areas of business, Sanas plans to roll out the speech translation technology that will be used by seven BPOs (Business Process Outsourcers) globally, starting in the fall of this year.

“The world has shrunk, and people are doing business globally, while at the same time they have real difficulty understanding each other. Even getting Google Home or Alexa to understand accents accurately is extremely important,” said Sanas’ CEO, Maxim Serebryakov. “Digital communication is critical for our daily lives. Sanas is striving to make communication easy and free from friction, so people can speak confidently and understand each other, wherever and with whomever they are trying to communicate with.”

How accent translation technology works?

The patent-pending Sanas software intercepts audio and converts accents through a speech-to-speech approach. This allows for building a virtual bridge between the audio device and the computer, which sends the new signal to a communication app in use (Zoom, Hangouts, and more). The results come almost instantly! The accent of a customer care representative, for example, will be matched to the accent of an incoming caller in real-time.

An illustration of two people texting to each other.

Sanas also performed internal research to check the efficiency and benefits of the solution. The results have shown that the elimination of the accent barrier brought increased customer satisfaction and sales.

Communication was significantly improved, and the software even promoted foreign language learning. Moreover, the word error rate decreased around 15% on automatic speech recognition devices or ASRs.

“We plan to introduce the accent-matching technology to a range of industries and environments far beyond customer care and technical support, which are two very obvious use cases,” said Serebryakov. “There are also creative use cases such as those in entertainment and media where producers can make their films and programs understandable in different parts of the world by matching accents to localities. We are also exploring how machines can better interpret what people are saying. We’ve only begun to explore the possibilities.”

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