BNR wint award

And the award goes to… Smart Radio!

Marconi Online Award
The Marconi Online Award aims to: ‘award audio initiatives which could serve as a catalyst for the radio of the future.’ This year for the very first time the Marconi Online Award was awarded to the Google funded BNR project ‘Smart Radio’ which does just that. By combining AI-solutions, speech recognition from Zoom Media and topic detection algorithms from BrainCreators, Smart Radio offers personalized radio for BNR listeners. So how does that work exactly?

First step: great radio shows
BNR has a knack for making great radio shows about a wide variety of subjects: politics, finance, innovation, mobility you name it. Now most people do not keep track in their agenda when their favourite show airs. The idea of personalized radio was born. So when BNR received funding from Google’s Digital News Initiative (DNI) it had the means to help this idea come to fruition.

Second step: high accuracy live speech recognition
So what is the best way to search in audio? How do you index all those radio shows and make them searchable while they are on air? You need high accuracy real-time speech recognition, which is where Zoom Media came in. Having experience in building speech recognition models in various languages based on broadcast data, Zoom Media was a logical fit for the project. Now BNR had the partner to help turn all its radio shows into text in real-time.

Third step: topic detection
As a last crucial component, the project was in need of a highly sophisticated topic detection model to cluster relevant keywords in order to link specific radio shows to the listeners key points of interest and enable Smart Radio to notify them so they can tune in. BrainCreators used a few thousand hours worth of transcripts Zoom Media’s speech recognition produced to train the topic detection model.

The result: personalized radio
Thanks to the combination of these three components listeners are now able to select topics that they are interested in, for example: Brexit, Trump or Europe. Whenever that topic is mentioned on air it will be transcribed automatically in real-time by Zoom Media’s speech recognition, clustered and filtered by BrainCreators’s topic detection and the listener is notified to tune in and listen to that specific topic he or she is interested in. In short, an award well deserved.

Want to learn more about the Smart Radio project or how you can apply smart AI solutions to help get your service ready for the future? Get in touch!

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