Akilli Çeviri company started as a doctoral thesis that soon proved to have solutions applicable in real life. Today, they have several artificial intelligence supported products and aim to provide equal opportunities in communication and accessing information, to individuals with hearing impaired problems.
Özer ÇELİK, the general manager of the company, answered a few of our questions and let us know about how positive feedback was what really encouraged and showed Akilli Çeviri that they were going in the right direction.
What’s the story behind Akilli Çeviri? How was the idea for this business born?
After seeing the communication problems experienced by hearing-impaired individuals in the workplace, Akilli Çeviri started as a doctoral thesis that had innovative solutions to these problems. The solution approaches presented within the scope of the thesis have been proven to be applicable in real life and then become a start-up as an initiative.
As a result of the studies we conducted with hearing-impaired individuals, we found that they had problems not only in communication but also in accessing information. Thus, we have developed different products by expanding the range of solutions we have developed for the problems they experience.
Today, we have many artificial intelligence supported products that will solve the problems of hearing impaired individuals who have problems in communication and accessing information and provide them with equal opportunities.
What sets you apart from others with similar solutions?
Hearing impaired people need assistive technologies in two areas: communication and access to information problems.
Today, as a traditional approach, sign language translators provide solutions by translating. For example, when a written document is to be translated into sign language, the sign language specialist will stick to the text and make the sign language movements in front of the camera. This method is not dynamic and the whole process needs to be repeated if there is any change in the text.
With the innovation we have developed, our artificial intelligence-supported solutions dynamically translate any web page, PDF document, etc. content into sign language. There are similar applications, our difference from these applications is the Two-way Sign Language Translation System we have developed. This system becomes a communication bridge between the hearing impaired and the individuals who do not know sign language and allows communication by two-way translation which is sign language to spoken language and spoken language to sign language.
Furthermore, while translation applications developed for the hearing impaired provide translation for a single sign language, our products have a flexible infrastructure in which all sign languages will be integrated and currently support multiple sign languages.
Tell us about your first success story, the one that made you realize you were going in the right direction.
Understandability of the translation is the most important issue in sign language translation. While testing our products with hearing-impaired individuals, the positive feedback we received from them and the high rate of comprehensibility of the translations were one of the most motivating factors for us.
Thanks to the feedback that encouraged, motivated and showed us that we were on the right direction, we made our first successful agreement with Turkish Airlines, which is a global company.
And about MME… Who was your coach? Tell as a bit how it was to work with him.
Our coach was Adriaan Theys. After a sincere meeting with him, he listened carefully to our problems and gave his feedback. In the meetings we held from time to time, we shared about the progress and exchanged ideas.
We thank him for helping us as much as he can in every field.
What were the greatest learnings you took from this programme?
The MME programme has contributed and helped us in many areas with its workshops, network and opportunities in specific fields. Thanks to the programme, we made potential connections, improved ourselves in pitching, and learned about the European market.
Considering all these, we can say that the biggest contribution to us is a very valuable experience.
Akilli Çeviri is one of the startups that integrated the first support cycle of the MME programme. Find out more about them on www.engelsizceviri.com/EN.