Deepgram Opens $10M Speech Recognition Startup Program
Speech recognition platform Deepgram will give $10 million worth of customized speech models and software as part of the new Deepgram Startup Program, which has begun accepting applications. The program was announced in tandem with across-the-board upgrades and additions to Deepgram’s services and software.
Deepgram’s platform provides enterprise-level voice transcription and analytics in real-time and in batches. The platform records and analyzes conversations, customer interactions, internal meetings and presentations with what Deepgram claims is greater efficiency and more than 95% accuracy. The platform uses end-to-end deep learning and tunable models based on industry and environment to outperform the standard heuristic models. The resulting platform has more flexibility and can fit in with more kinds of companies, according to Deepgram.
Deepgram set up the startup program to bring those benefits to younger companies who might not be able to afford them otherwise. The program, set up with Y Combinator and other accelerators, is designed specifically for educational and workplace-focused companies trying to streamline their services. Applications for the program close at the end of the year. The startups chosen for the program will each get up to $100,000 worth of speech recognition help from Deepgram. There’s no equity exchange or cost to the startup, who can use it to build voice experiences and learn about good practices and the latest available AI tech from Deepgram’s experts. Deepgram has previously attracted potential clients with a free version of its enterprise speech recognition platform, but not the custom-trained models provided to startups chosen for the new program.
“We believe in a world where every voice is heard and understood,” Deepgram CEO Scott Stephenson said in a statement. “Developers playing and prototyping with our technology is one of the fastest paths to making voice a de facto mode for communications. We’re just scratching the surface of how voice can transform business and can’t wait to see how these awesome practitioners leverage automatic speech recognition in the real world.”
The startups will be given access to a revamped Deepgram, as the company also showcased a big update to its platform. Deepgram has new Software Development Kits and API documentation, but the centerpiece is the new developer console. The console has simplified the controls and account management for users compared to its earlier iteration. The console also now includes a set of tutorials called Missions, with tasks and rewards for learning to use Deepgram’s features. The new features come all at once, but Deepgram has steadily added new features to its platform over the years, such as a tool that enables a trained AI to teach speech recognition to other AI.
The updates were made possible after Deepgram raised $25 million in February, right as the COVID-19 pandemic began to ramp up interest in enterprise voice AI to an enormous degree. In response, Deepgram donated $1 million worth of voice transcription services to healthcare providers and created a limited version of the platform specifically for the medical field.
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