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Friday, October 20, 2023

Jeff Kofman, Founder & CEO of Trint – Interview Sequence

Jeff Kofman, is the Founder & CEO of Trint, after a 30-year profession with ABC, CBS and CBC Information, Jeff bought bored with hitting the wall of handbook transcription and watching each story unnecessarily cease in its tracks. In 2014, Jeff and a staff of builders leveraged AI to do the heavy lifting, and Trint was born.

Right this moment Trint is an AI-powered SaaS platform that goes past transcription to spice up each stage of the content material creation workflow.

From transcription to editorial instruments, actual time collaboration to export and publishing – making each step simpler for newsrooms, podcasters, native companies and world organizations to share tales quicker and simpler than ever.

You had a distinguished 30-year profession with ABC, CBS and CBC Information, what have been among the points that you simply encountered with conventional handbook transcription?

I lived the ache of handbook transcription day-after-day as a journalist. Lengthy earlier than I had the thought of inventing and constructing Trint, I puzzled why there wasn’t a greater means.

Guide transcription was all the time the bottleneck in my workflow as a TV reporter. I’d do my interviews, hearken to a information convention, learn my analysis, have a look at my footage and THEN… my producer and I might disappear into the Black Gap of Transcription.

I can’t write my TV information story till I’ve exact transcripts of the quotes or soundbites I wish to use. I have to know what they mentioned and the way lengthy that soundbite runs. That meant sitting in a screening room or at our desks with headphones on, hitting PLAY then PAUSE. Then kind some phrases. Then PLAY. PAUSE. And repeat. It may take hours. So tedious. So important.

Trint launched in 2014, are you able to focus on how the thought was born?

I by no means imagined I’d be a tech man. It was by no means in my life plan. It occurred by probability.

I had an informal dialog with some software program builders who had carried out some rudimentary experiments with audio and textual content (not transcription) in 2013.

I innocently requested: why can’t I take advantage of automated speech-to-text to transcribe my interviews.

I bear in mind one of many guys asking me: why would you wish to do this?

I answered: as a result of handbook transcription is the ache level in my work as a reporter, I detest it.

We saved in contact and did some experiments. It shortly grew to become clear that we had invented the long run. I left my job as London Correspondent for ABC Information a yr later and we started constructing Trint.

What have been among the challenges of launching a transcription service in these early days?

Automated transcription is a discrete downside. Individuals who don’t dwell the workflow of reporters and content material creators do not know how they create tales. I bear in mind assembly some very rich angel buyers within the early days and so they simply couldn’t grasp why reporters like me want transcripts. It took quite a lot of explaining to get them to know how a reporter works.

I believe that’s simpler at the moment. We’re all content material creators.

What are the totally different machine studying algorithms which are presently used at Trint?

We now have a brilliant sensible bunch of engineers and information scientists which are all the time tinkering with no matter they are often arms on with and wherever their imaginations can take them. As you’ll perceive, our focus is on how automated transcription can velocity up workflows for our media prospects, which implies we all the time work round speech, audio system, languages and acoustics. NLP and speech processing algorithms are a part of our day-to-day, however we’ll examine any inventive methods to make use of AI to assist journalists extract data from movies, audios and pictures. Wealthy transcription lets us give extra context to their content material, makes all of it extra searchable, and in the end lets them discover the moments that actually matter and get them out to their audiences as shortly as attainable.

What languages are presently supplied, and are there any variations in transcription high quality between the totally different languages?

We provide about 45 languages that you would be able to transcribe and are all the time including extra. Some are in “beta” and others which are much more mature, which will depend on the scale of coaching information units that assist construct the fashions. We consistently measure the accuracy of our fashions for every language to consistently develop our fashions and to enhance their efficiency.

We’re all the time what new fashions have gotten accessible to see if we are able to convey them into our safe ASR processing setting.

But it surely’s not solely in regards to the languages we transcribe – our prospects also can have that transcript translated into nearly any language.

Outdoors of transcription, Trint is an AI-powered SaaS platform that’s designed to enhance content material creation workflow, are you able to focus on among the different instruments which are supplied?

Though on the coronary heart of Trint is our AI-powered transcription, what we obsess about is why these transcriptions are helpful to our customers, and the way we may help them get worth as shortly and simply as attainable. Meaning having a deep understanding of their workflows, so we are able to try to make each step as seamless as attainable.

Finally, we would like them to seize any press convention, interview or occasion wherever, at any time, in any language and make use of it because it occurs. Meaning making it straightforward for them or their staff to confirm and use the dwell transcription because it occurs – verifying, sharing and translating key quotes seconds after they’re spoken.

Our cellular app means that may occur even should you solely have a telephone on you, and ensures all the pieces is securely transmitted to your staff even when the connection is patchy.

Our Story Builder is designed to allow you to discover the important thing moments in all of your content material and switch them into a brand new narrative that may be exported to different key instruments in your content material manufacturing workflow. Whether or not that’s a tough minimize for video enhancing, a podcast transcript or an article. If it’s essential to use the textual content of the audio as captions, our collaborative editor may help there too.

You even have a podcast that you simply personally host known as StoryTech, which seems to be at how know-how shapes tales. May you elaborate on what this podcast is, what listeners ought to count on, and why they need to tune in?

StoryTech is basically the intersection of my two careers: a reporter and a tech inventor. It seems to be at how know-how and innovation form the best way tales are informed.

The early episodes have a look at how CGI was used to convey down the ice wall in Recreation of Thrones, and the way the invention of the 35mm Leica digital camera within the Nineteen Twenties led to the unfold of photojournalism and the creation of LIFE journal.

I’m fascinated by the influence of innovation on storytelling. That’s what StoryTech is about.

What’s your imaginative and prescient for the way forward for Trint?

That’s the problem each innovator is wrestling with at the moment. How does the quick tempo of innovation open alternatives for my product?

Our prospects desire a product that creates easy, intuitive efficiencies that match seamlessly into their workflow. Meaning going far past transcription.

Trint will leverage AI to do issues that have been unimaginable only a few years in the past: determine voices, faces, sentiment, context, information and falsehoods. It will occur in any language – translating from that language because it’s spoken. The hot button is to do that and a lot extra in a means that integrates into different merchandise to create one painless workflow.

I don’t see Trint changing reporters, writers and content material creators. It’s about liberating them from the drudgery of their work and permitting them to focus their time on creativity. It’s thrilling to attempt to think about the long run. I’m not gonna lie: it’s additionally daunting.

Thanks for the good interview, readers who want to study extra ought to go to Trint or watch the StoryTech podcast.

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