London-based Speak Ai uses artificial intelligence to help communicators and researchers go beyond transcription to better understand people and connect more deeply with audiences

Tyler Bryden was working as a Web developer and marketer when he became frustrated by the lengthy process of creating and sharing content. After several years of consulting with his marketing firm, SixFive, Bryden set out to solve the issue with a new company called Speak Ai Inc.: a content creation, analysis and distribution platform that helps people and teams communicate and research better through artificial intelligence.

“We’re going beyond transcription,” says Bryden. Speak Ai enables users to generate and share content quickly across multiple channels and mediums. With unique features like keyword and topic analysis, sentiment analysis and people identification, Speak users can get much deeper insights into what resonates with people. “When we are marketing, communicating, and researching, there’s much more going on than just the words on the transcription. There are facial expressions and the tone of voice. The platform we’re building wants to connect those all together.”

The benefits of speech-driven marketing

Marketing customers often ask Bryden whether their company should create a blog, podcast, video or paid ads and his response is quite simple: “why not do all of those at once?” Speak Ai’s platform allows for a cost-effective way to create powerful marketing content without the time, technical knowledge, and frustration. “I’ve spent a large amount of time, making video podcasts, only to spend more time later turning it into a blog post, and then sharing it out on Instagram. That process would take me three hours and we are now reducing it to around 25 seconds,” says Bryden.

But why is it important to be on all these different mediums? “We truly believe people love speech-driven content. It is believed that 80 per cent of the web will be comprised of video by 2022, but we still need to provide different ways for people to engage with this content.” Plus, while video may be taking over the web, a large number of internet users are still reading transcripts and subtitles while listening to videos. “We’re trying to give internet users the freedom to engage with content the way they want by adding the transcript along with video and audio. This content will also get indexed by search engines, leading to enormous SEO benefits.”

On the other side of it, Speak Ai is able to help marketers identify deeper insights about those viewing their content by associating time stamps and looking at the most popular transcript lines to find the most engaging topics. “The value comes from analyzing long-form audio and video content on the way in so you can generate interactive content that deeply engages users,” explains Bryden.

An unexpected market

And Speak Ai has evolved to become much more than just a marketing platform, as researchers have also taken notice. “The amount of unstructured data that researchers get from studies is truly incredible. Being able to transcribe and analyze data instantly is immensely valuable,” says Bryden.

While assisting researchers has now become one of Speak Ai’s main goals, there is a lot of work to be done. “The adoption of this technology can be difficult. There are a lot of legal and ethics board hoops to get through. But every time we talk to researchers we can’t ignore their enthusiasm. Some people question how we can do both, but what we’ve realized is how close the process of marketing and research is. When we work with researchers it makes our marketing platform better. More and more researchers are struggling with knowledge mobilization. They are looking for better ways to create, publish and share the research they are doing. So, every time we talk to marketers it makes our research platform better. It’s very much a symbiotic relationship.”

Why London, Ontario?

“One of the things that impresses me about London is that there is a lot of support,” Bryden emphasizes. London’s unique offerings include the opportunity to be a part of the Tech Alliance program, the Grow Program and working with the London Economic Development Corporation. “We feel our company operates with the full support of London as a city. The environment is both competitive and collaborative.” Speak is taking advantage of its proximity to education institutions including Fanshawe College and the University of Western Ontario.

Beyond the city of London, the province of Ontario has been instrumental in Speak Ai’s early success. “In Ontario, there are a lot of amazing opportunities. We’ve received support from the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Western Accelerator Program. We hope and believe we will be able to access more”

Looking back at how the environment for entrepreneurs in Ontario has changed since starting his company in 2016, Bryden remarks that a lot of resources are available. “We get access to programs like Career Focus, which subsidizes hiring and SR&ED, which allows us to get tax credits and reimbursement for some of the innovative work that we’re doing. Ontario is a fruitful place for entrepreneurial resources and it’s really exciting to see what’s taking place.

Translations and real-time feedback

And Speak Ai isn’t planning on slowing down when it comes to new innovations. “Our focus is not just on English transcription. We hope to be able to offer our services in 80 languages so we can improve accessibility and reach,” says Bryden.

Bryden believes that technology like theirs will become a part of everyday life in the near future. Speak Ai is working on some next-generation features such as the ability to link speech to bio-markers and analyze content in real-time. As the company continues to scale up, the mission remains consistent. “Whether you’re technically gifted or not, we want to understand people more deeply and help people communicate better”

This article was created with the help of Speak Ai’s transcription technology.

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November 4, 2019

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