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HomeNewsSoapBox Labs Earns U.S Recognition for Mitigating Racial Bias in AI Technology

SoapBox Labs Earns U.S Recognition for Mitigating Racial Bias in AI Technology

SoapBox Labs, a highly respected developer of speech recognition technology for children, has become the first company in the world to receive independent certification for detecting and mitigating racial bias in artificial intelligence-based technologies.

The certification was awarded by Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization established by the U.S. Congress in 2011 to develop research, practice and technology to advance educational equity.

Founded in 2013 by Patricia Scanlon, SoapBox uses artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning to develop cloud-based speech recognition solutions for young children. SoapBox’s technology is not only being used by education companies in areas such as speech-based literacy, language acquisition, dyslexia screening and speech therapy products, but is also increasingly being used by toy manufacturers for use in toys.

“There is so much potential for speech-enhanced learning to help educators and young learners, but to unlock that potential, the speech-enhanced products we use in the classroom must be accurate and treat the voices of all children equally, regardless of accent, age, race or socioeconomic background,” said Martyn Farrows, CEO of SoapBox Labs.

Dr. Farrows, who has more than 25 years of experience in the education industry, joined SoapBox Labs in 2017 and replaced Scanlon as executive director last year. Scanlon, who was named Ireland’s first AI ambassador earlier this year, is now executive chair of the company she founded.

“From the beginning, SoapBox has made a conscious effort to develop speech technologies for children who are ethnically diverse. We are honored to have our work and tireless commitment to children recognized and to share what we have learned in this process with our colleagues,” he added.

Scanlon, who was previously named one of the world’s top 50 women in technology by Forbes magazine, founded SoapBox at age 39. A former researcher at Bell Labs with a doctorate in digital signal processing in electrical engineering, Scanlon founded the company to develop a different kind of speech recognition technology that could accurately understand the voices of all children, regardless of accent or dialect.

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  • SoapBox Labs Earns U.S. Recognition for Mitigating Racial Bias in AI Technology
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