In October 2020, I participated in Junction X Seoul Hackathon 2020 be part
of Europe’s biggest hackathon, organized and sponsored by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Gwangju Center for Creative Economy and Innovation, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju University, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.
The theme and keyword for JunctionX Seoul 2020 was interaction. As the pandemic has made us distance ourselves physically from one another, the team wanted JunctionX Seoul 2020 to be an innovative playground where all participants could interact with one another despite it all.
Our project was selected as the winner of the Microsoft track. Then, our project was voted to become the champion of JunctionX Seoul Hackathon 2020.
In this competition, there are 4 tracks from Microsoft, NaverZ, Rakuten Rapid
API, SI Analytics. Our team decided to participate in the Microsoft track. Our team also has 6 members consists of 4 developers and 2 designers. I worked mainly as a backend developer to develop the backend system of our project and implement Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services.
What is the Microsoft track?
Develop for Collaboration and Remote Productivity
Build a website or mobile app for collaboration and remote productivity that can be applied to society and business that will make the world more connected together, and more inclusive place to work in. In this challenge, the requirement to show at least 1 usage of the technologies used here in Microsoft Azure and to elaborate your idea with responsible AI.
What is our idea?
Background and Problem Definition:
Since the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic, our work environment shifted closer and closer to online. With technology, we have still maintained a level of productivity and settled into video conferencing platforms for remote work. While video conferencing ensures safety and productivity, we are still facing problems in creating an inclusive society.
Someone you may know cannot freely express themselves in a video conference just because they are incapable of hearing, seeing, or speaking in another language.
What do we need?
We need a bridge that allows those with disabilities to voice like everyone else and a bridge that connects thoughts regardless of language barriers and where they come from.
Proposal: We would like to share with the world a service that allows everyone to equally participate in video conferencing sessions, thus creating an inclusive society.
With WECO, our video conferencing software, everyone’s voice can be bridged, heard, and echoed.
Everything we talk about in video conference is updated in real-time with a translatable and exportable transcript, and anyone can send their message in “voice to text” or “text to voice” form and easily interact with other users.
We are delivering inclusiveness to those who are incapable of speaking, reading, or understanding in a video conferencing session.
WECO handles the features mentioned above with Microsoft Azure Cognitive Service. In order to transcribe speech accurately from users into text, WECO implemented Speech to Text API and deployed this service on the Azure portal. On the other hand, in order to convert text to natural sounding voices in the transcript, we used Text to Speech API. Lastly, Speech Translation API is used to implement the chat and transcript translation, providing a fair and equal opportunity for everyone in the world to communicate.