AI for Good blog

Meet Voiceitt, the startup revolutionizing accessibility through AI

Artificial Intelligence | Health | Innovation & Creativity | Innovation Factory

by Elizaveta Agurbash

The International Telecommunication Union’s AI for Good Innovation Factory is a competition that supports start-ups that are using AI to tackle sustainable development challenges. On 19 March 2024, during the live pitching session of the AI for Good Innovation Factory, startups presented their solutions to a panel of renowned AI experts and investors.

Following in-depth discussions and impressive presentations, Voiceitt was awarded the first prize. This start-up specializes in creating patented automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology designed specifically for people facing challenges with speech disabilities, aging voices, and accents. Voiceitt’s innovative approach leverages cutting-edge machine learning methods and a unique database of non-standard speech patterns to ensure an exceptional and user-friendly voice interface.

Voiceitt received a prize package including VIP access, an exhibition booth, and a pitching opportunity at the AI for Good Global Summit 2024, as well as exclusive mentoring from the judges, and networking opportunities with the UN.

We spoke to Sara Smolley, one of the co-founders of Voiceitt. Sara is committed to the start-up’s mission of leveraging AI to empower people with disabilities and aging adults live more independent and connected lives.

Here are five things you should know about the AI for Good Innovation Factory winner:

Can you tell us about your winning solution? 

Voiceitt has built speech recognition – a powerful voice AI solution – for non-standard speech.  Our mission is to help people with disabilities and aging adults live more connected, independent lives through cutting edge voice technology.

Before I was born, my grandmother was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. By the time I was a toddler, my grandmother had lost most of her motor capabilities. However, the most challenging adjustment for the family was that my  grandmother could not easily communicate with friends or family. During her later years, only a few regular caregivers could understand her voice. It became difficult for anyone else to hear her or build a relationship, including healthcare workers, neighbors, and grandchildren.

The stories of our family members were our inspiration to develop Voiceitt – to give people with speech disabilities their voices back.

While our original idea was to support spoken conversation, we soon discovered our broader value: to make ALL technologies accessible for people with speech disabilities – opening the world of Voice AI to these individuals.

Voiceitt’s goal is to increase accessibility for people with non-standard speech, improving their access to education, employment, healthcare, and entertainment. With Voiceitt, aging adults with non-standard speech and people with speech disabilities can improve their quality of life, participate in the world around them, and contribute to a fairer, more complete society.

Learn more about Voiceitt technologies:

Voiceitt and Webex: Accessible Video Meetings  – Voiceitt API

The Stuff of Champions – Voiceitt Integrations (API / App)

Unlocking the Mysteries: Aging adults and Voiceitt:  Voiceitt2 Demo (App)

Where are you from and what regions do you work in? 

Voiceitt co-founders are Danny Weissberg, Stas Tiomkin, and Sara Smolley. We are headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, with a subsidiary in the United States.

Our engineering team is primarily based in Ukraine; we have lead algorithm researchers in the UK and Czech Republic. We have technology partners in Australia and UK; and a networking of users, partners, and community stakeholders across Europe.

How can your solution help solve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?

We are a mission-driven AI enterprise. Our commitment to the SDGs and its principles is concrete and clear, and includes the following principles:

  1. Education, training, and lifelong learning – Voiceitt helps ensure that everyone can access good quality education and training, regardless of any speech disability.
  2. Equal opportunities – Voiceitt ensures that everyone has the same fair chance to take part in the world around them.
  3. Active support for employment – Voiceitt ensures that people with speech dysarthria have access to assistance to improve access to employment or self-employment. Secure and adaptable employment – Voiceitt gives workers access to fairer treatment because it enables them to communicate freely and easily with their superiors and colleagues, regardless of any speech disability.
  4. Inclusion of people with disabilities – Voiceitt gives people with speech-affecting disabilities access to jobs and social situations they might otherwise be excluded from. They are able to participate in the labor market and in society, and a work environment adapted to their needs

What is your biggest challenge as an AI start-up? 

The answer for most AI startups: raising capital to support R&D and commercialization during challenging economic periods

Why did you join the Innovation Factory Pitching Competition?  

We joined the Innovation Factory to find partners, investors, and other stakeholders who share our vision: to leverage the best of cutting-edge Voice AI to help people with disabilities and aging adults live more independent, connected lives.

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