Chicago — Three former Stanford University students aim to eliminate miscommunication by changing people’s accents in real-time with AI-powered software.
Shawn Zhang, Maxim Serebryakov and Adres Perez Soderi founded Sanas after experiencing how accents can get in the way of communicating. The software aims to eliminate the requirement for accent reduction training and allow for near-instant comprehension.
Sanas’ algorithm can convert English to and from American, Australian, British, Filipino, Indian and Spanish accents, and the company, which launched last year, is planning to add more.
“We've seen firsthand how people treat you differently just because of the way you speak," said Serebryakov. "It's heartbreaking sometimes."
While the company is expanding, it may be some time before Sanas appears on app stores. The team is working with significant call center outsourcing companies to perfect the technology and assure security before it is widely used.
Perez envisions the software will play a vital role in helping people communicate with their doctors.
"Any second that is lost either in misunderstanding because of the lost time or the wrong messaging is potentially very, very impactful," he said. "We really want to make sure that there's nothing lost in translation."