Signapse – sign language transport announcements

Finalist category: AI for Good Award

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AI for Good, Finalist, 2023

A train station platform with a train pulling in. A digital sign display is seen, with a person signing the travel announcementsThere are 7 million Deaf people around the world who use sign language every single day and for whom day to day information is inaccessible. A common misconception is that putting information in writing is all you need to make it accessible to a Deaf person. What this doesn’t account for is that learning a language you cannot hear is incredibly difficult and that sign languages are not direct translations of written language; they have their own distinct grammar and syntax.

Signapse uses technology to address this, successfully bridging the communication gap between Deaf and hearing communities.

“We are building AI software that automatically translates from written text to Sign Language video, delivered by a photo-realistic digital signer which is indistinguishable from a human. Rooted in research developed under Professor Richard Bowden at the University of Surrey, our technology can transform Deaf accessibility.

Our first product is transport announcements. These use AI and integration with the UK’s Darwin data feeds to provide automatic, real-time travel information in British Sign Language, presented by a digital signer. Due to all announcements currently being made in written and audible forms, Deaf people often cannot comprehend the required information and miss their train.”

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