One of Copytalk’s proudest achievements of 2020 was its recent partnership with SyncWords, the next-gen provider for live translations, captioning, and voice localization. Through this partnership, Copytalk transcribes your media files and SyncWords automatically creates closed captions, subtitles, and translations for online delivery – all while maintaining our second-to-none security protocols. The sky’s the limit for what can be transcribed, captioned, and translated – everything from sports events, movies, television series, educational videos, conferences, committee meetings, budgetary meetings, annual reviews – you name it.
To celebrate this exciting new partnership, Copytalk CEO Maree Moscati recently had the opportunity to interview Ashish Shah, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of SyncWords. Here’s what they said.
Maree: You co-founded SyncWords in 2012 after a successful career first in equity research and then as head of business development for a technology and design company focused on web applications. Can you tell me a little bit about your journey towards co-founding SyncWords, including how your background in these fields worked together to fuel your interests in starting this new enterprise?
Ashish: They say life prepares you for the challenges ahead. It was my good fortune that I met some incredible people who became business partners as we co-founded SyncWords, and created a company culture of innovation, inclusion, and open communication. My experience in equity research taught me putting customers first, as well as business analysis, which are important aspects as we continue to grow SyncWords and use its technology in meaningful ways for a diverse range of customers, including accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. We are using our core technologies and AI for localization through subtitling and automated dubbing via voice synthesis.
Further, having a team with a background in developing web applications has served SyncWords really well as we create awesomely designed applications that leverage our artificial intelligence and machine learning expertise.
Maree: What first drew you to the field of subtitling and closed captioning?
Ashish: From the onset, all the partners had a deep commitment to accessibility. In fact, we had already been working on media accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing since 2000. And beyond that we considered language translation via foreign language subtitles to be the way forward to make video content globally accessible. This coupled with the growing supply of video and streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, powered the significant growth of SyncWords in the last decade.
We realized that the old way of closed captioning and subtitling was based on human-intensive effort, and arcane and pricey desktop tools. The captioning process took a long time, and the prices of producing captions and subtitles were very high, thus leaving out mainstream video producers from using these services, so solving that problem became a priority for SyncWords.
Maree: Artificial intelligence and automation are evolving all the time. What are some ways that advancements in this technology have changed SyncWords’ business model over the past two decades, including the services that you provide to clients?
Ashish: SyncWords’ core technologies are powered using its proprietary Machine Learning technology and infrastructure. Using Artificial Intelligence in combination with our automation and tools has reduced the time to generate captions and subtitles from a few days to just a few minutes. This hybrid approach of “automation plus tools” has helped our customers immensely and increased their output of captions in a significant way. Our automation and AI were built around processes and stringent quality requirements demanded by the broadcast industry, which enabled SyncWords to set itself apart from other providers.
While we develop several core components of AI within SyncWords, we also believe in using best-of-breed machine learning where it’s applicable and produces a useful end product. We have integrated SyncWords with the leading AI providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft in certain areas.
SyncWords’ services are a perfect extension for Copytalk’s customers who are requiring global communications, security, and quality. Copytalk’s transcription workflow is integrated with SyncWords’ captioning platform to offer its customers high quality captions and subtitles.
Maree: Finally, what is your proudest achievement to date as co-founder of SyncWords?
Ashish: While we are proud of many achievements at SyncWords, some notable ones include launching the first human-like dubbing platform called Vocalics. This was our moonshot idea. Hearing people speak in a new language with the same style and emotions is powerful, and we think it heralds a new age in communications. With its patent-pending technology, Vocalics is going to be a huge disruptor, so stay tuned!