Clearest Voice at Trade Fair

Have you ever heard about the International Trade Fair of Student Firms? No? This year, it has already celebrated 25 years of existence. For this big anniversary, it had a rich cultural program and we were there! ELITR team organized a complementary competition called Clearest Voice as a joint with competition 90 second in a lift. Curious enough?

The International Trade Fair of Student Firms is a colorful bustle, which happens once per year in Prague. This year, Student Firms (or sometimes called “Fictitious Companies”) from ten countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium and Russia) participated. The Student Firms are companies established at high-schools in order to allow to the students of the final year to try out, what running a company entails. Each of them has a director, marketing, business and accounting department. The main goal for students is to learn to cooperate, understand that every member is important, though all the departments do and focus on something else and to solve various “day-life” problems. At the trade fair, they learn to promote their company and goods or services and to issue invoices correctly.

So, how did ELITR project fit in there?

As a part of the cultural program and competitions at the trade fair, we organised a complementary competition, attached to another competition “90 seconds in a lift”, where students had 90 seconds to promote their firm to a random stranger in a lift, in English. There was a professional three-member jury who evaluated the performance from a professional point of view. The subject of evaluation of the Clearest Voice competition was to achieve the lowest error rate of automatic recognition of the speech (using Janus ASR from KIT), so the ones who could speak the clearest were the best.

Not only we have run the competition for the participants — and they liked it! (read Benešovský Deník here) — we had to record the performances, send them from the stage to laptops on transcription space, get the participants to transcribe it, evaluate it and give some awesome prizes to the winners, but we were also subtitling! Let’s be honest, sometimes it was better and sometimes it got funny.

ELITR has had a great opportunity for a first test of its subtitling and translation technologies.

We had a great opportunity to have there a Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček, who gave a lecture. Tomáš’s English was really good – and maybe that’s why the ASR results were good, but what’s more, he fairly liked our subtitling attempt.

But well, sometimes, the translations were more amusing than informative. We are hesitant to translate our outputs in this photo back into English, seek for a Czech friend if you want to find out.

The overall impression from the Trade Fair was great, the fact that we had a chance to try-out the technology that we are developing and improving was amazing and though there were some funny moments with our subtitling translations, it was most definitely worth it and we are looking for the next event. If you want to know more, check out our video!

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