As you open the app, it immediately starts writing out what it hears in large, easy-to-read text. It adds punctuation, understands some contexts and is able to correctly capitalise phrases. Live Transcribe was demonstrated in at Google’s Kenya offices in Nairobi where it easily recognized sounds including laughter, a knock, water, wind among other sounds.
Now that Google is planning to extend the app as an accessory tool, people behind the creation of this innovation are coming to light. The one who has actively helped to develop Live Transcribe from the ground level is a 26-year-old man named Sagar Savla. Savla, who is a senior product manager in Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) research team was inspired by a real-life situation to put together the app.
Born and raised in Mumbai, Sagar lived with his grandmother, now 75, who slowly but steadily was losing her hearing. “She would switch the volume of the TV to the highest level just to hear something from it,” Sagar told Standard Digital. He developed the app along with a deaf Russian colleague and took it to Gallaudet University in Washington DC that schools deaf students where the original app was reworked and made into the final product that it is today.
Sagar has been involved in building machine learning technology into products like Pixel’s phone camera, YouTube and Google Home.
The transcription app is available on Google Play Store and is free to download. Live Transcribe also comes pre-installed on Pixel 3 phones in accessibility settings.