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With today’s hybrid workplace model, the amount of time spent in meetings has skyrocketed. The reality is that employees and coworkers are in all different locations, which requires more meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page and getting the job done. But while this solves one problem, it also comes with many unintended consequences.
For instance, meeting participants now have to spend more time focusing and taking notes during the meeting—which can be mundane—instead of spending their time on valuable parts of their day-to-day job. And while there are automatic transcription solutions available, this comes with its own set of data privacy, connectivity, and time challenges.
That’s why integrated technology and services provider Cedat85 set out to create a cutting-edge solution that encompasses all the requirements of a contemporary AI-driven solution, but with the maximum security and offline capabilities businesses require today. CABOLO One was developed as a speech-to-text device that offers a range of services, including real-time recording, automated transcription, translation, archiving, and an indexing edge solution.
Automatic Transcription for Confidential Meetings
The idea for CABOLO One emerged after receiving vital feedback from Cedat85’s global customer base. End users expressed a need for enhanced privacy and security while transcribing and translating sensitive meetings—all while operating offline, aligning with the stipulations of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In response to these imperative considerations, Cedat85’s engineering team meticulously crafted the CABOLO Suite.
The solution leverages the edge to ensure only owners of the data can access it. Meeting participants, whether in the same room or remotely, connect to CABOLO One via a WiFi hotspot. Users can use their PC, mobile, or tablet, and then connect the device’s WiFi hotspot with a security password.
Keeping data at the edge also ensures no cloud provider, or even Cedat85, can get at it. Automatic transcription downloads are encrypted with AES-256, the strongest encryption standard available commercially.
But while the need for confidentiality drove the solution, Cedat85 also saw an opportunity to provide advanced capabilities for inclusion and accessibility. Giving proper access to all users became a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, when working from home and remote learning received a major boost. Remote connections for work meetings and employee collaborations became the norm, but not everyone could participate.
“When we had the first lockdown in Italy, one of our customers who’d been using our solutions for many years said, ‘We cannot support our hearing-impaired employees. We cannot send a translator or a sign interpreter to their house,’” says Selena Gray, Marketing Director at Cedat85. “Those employees had been left out of meetings, but with this technology, they were able to attend all of their meetings as usual.”
Since CABOLO operates at the edge, it eliminates latency challenges caused by poor internet connections. And because it’s automated, it saves organizations the time and expense of transcribing minutes from meetings.
“This is like a meeting assistant. You just run it in the background, it takes notes word by word, indexes and creates an archive for you while being offline,” says Gray.
While the need for #confidentiality drove the solution, Cedat85 also saw an opportunity to provide advanced capabilities for #inclusion and #accessibility. Giving proper access to all users became a priority. Cedat85 via @insightdottech
Digital Enablement for Various Sectors
CABOLO One’s roster of clients has grown steadily as organizations in various sectors leverage digital enablement as part of its business strategy. It’s in use at banking and finance multinationals, pharmaceutical companies, Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, and several universities.
Beyond recording and transcription services, Cedat85 also ensures CABOLO can transcribe text in more than 30 languages, and translate up to 60 languages.
The use of the core technology can be found in the European Parliament, where the organization uses CABOLO One for real-time transcription and translation across the 24 languages spoken within the EU.
The technology is especially beneficial to students with hearing impairments and those who speak a different first language. In a university, it can send subtitles to a screen as students follow a lecture in real time, whether they are in the classroom or connected remotely. Translation to a student’s first language is also available. In countries such as the U.K., where foreign students account for sizable portions of campus populations, translation capabilities are especially welcome.
“The moment someone is saying any word, it will be already in front of you, transcribed, subtitled, and in some cases, translated,” says Gray.
Bocconi University in Milan deployed the device for inclusion and accessibility by subtitling university-wide events. Initially, the university used the tool only in Italian, but subsequently asked for other languages. They ended up adopting an all-in-one system that allows immediate subtitling in multiple languages.
It can also be used in research facilities like pharmaceutical companies and universities. CABOLO One keeps a record of discussions that participants can reference later to follow up on action items. “They can record all of their sessions, whether it’s brainstorming, talking about technology, or talking about how to develop something together uniquely. They can have every detail that they’ve discussed, and can go back to it or even search for certain terms and words within the session,” Gray says.
Finding the Right Partner to Bring Data to the Edge
From the inception of the CABOLO One project, it was evident that a partner of global reach, reliability, innovation, and collaboration was imperative for the successful deployment of the technology. After an extensive and meticulous evaluation process, the engineering team pinpointed Intel as the ideal collaborator that embodied all these essential attributes. Recognizing Intel as the pivotal partner in this endeavour, the stage was set to bring this vision to fruition and deliver the utmost in technological excellence to customers.
Thanks to Intel technology, the company has been able to offer the solution as a standalone edge device that can keep growing in functionality. Cedat85 has already developed a video version that includes transcription with subtitles, translation, and keyword searchability. And with the use of the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ Toolkit, Cedat85 can ensure its speech-to-text device is performant, efficient, and accurate.
“Being a partner with Intel means we have a platform where we can continue to build different solutions, approach different needs, and evolve our research and development activities,” says Gray.
The company plans to expand on CABOLO One’s advanced capabilities with AI-driven automated creation of bullet points to summarize events and a synthetic voice that can support meetings in real time.
“This is a technology to help everyone. This device is not going to make anyone redundant at their work, but it’s just a device that can help and support everyone as much as it can,” says Gray.
This article was edited by Christina Cardoza, Associate Editorial Director for insight.tech.