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Hack the Valley - AssemblyAI at University of Toronto Hackathon

This past weekend, AssemblyAI was a proud sponsor of Hack The Valley, an annual student-run hackathon at the University of Toronto. We saw a great turnout at the event with over 300 participants and 70+ projects built in just under 36 hours.

Hack the Valley - AssemblyAI at University of Toronto Hackathon

This past weekend, AssemblyAI was a proud sponsor of Hack The Valley, an annual student-run hackathon at the University of Toronto. We saw a great turnout at the event with over 300 participants and 70+ projects built in just under 36 hours.

As a sponsor, we offered our Speech-to-Text API as a resource for students to hack with and provided support for our asynchronous transcription and real-time streaming API. We also had the difficult job of choosing the best project that used the AssemblyAI API.

Here’s a highlight of the top three projects built using the AssemblyAI API:

  1. ShopAdvisr

Mobile shopping app that helps find the products you need (via text and voice search) with a smart recommendation system and ML-powered product recognition.

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What Does This App Do?

Grocery shopping can be a tedious task. In fact, the average shopping trip takes 41 minutes. Using a smart recommendation system, ShopAdvisr provides product recommendations based on your text and voice search. It can even understand searches in layman's terms. This app uses AssemblyAI’s Speech-to-Text API to transcribe the user’s voice search, which is used to generate product recommendations.

This app has two main features:

1) Using an intelligent recommendation system, users can use voice/text search to get product recommendations. The user can ask “What should I buy for my daughter’s birthday party?” and get a list of smart suggestions with the aisle number the product can be found in.

2) Using image recognition, users can take pictures of products to check whether they are on sale.

Additionally, all the products recommended as part of the smart suggestions can be added to your shopping list.

  1. AcadeME

AcadeME: Education made for me!

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What Does This App Do?

A survey from Global News Canada states that 60% of parents agreed their children are behind in their education because of e-learning measures. With the proliferation of e-learning, students can fall behind in class if they struggle to pay attention in class or miss a class. AcadeME is a chrome extension and web application that helps students keep up with their studies through a number of note taking and note summarization features. This application uses AssemblyAI’s Speech-to-Text API in the backend to transcribe live-stream lectures and lecture recordings. Then it transforms the transcription to help students easily browse and organize their notes.

This app has three main features:

1) Using an AI-powered summarization engine, it transcribes live notes based on the current lecture.

2) It enables students to simplify, define, and find synonyms for words / concepts they struggle to grasp and helps them to gain a better understanding of the topic at hand.

3) It lets students view and edit previously transcribed notes so they are never behind.

  1. Speed Reader

Read more info in less time!

via GIPHY


What Does This App Do?

Most readers have an average reading speed of 200-300 words per minute (WPM). However, humans can actually read up to 500 WPM. When reading a passage, only around 20% of your time is spent processing content, the rest is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word. Speed Reader is an application that gives you text at the point where you're already looking, so you can read without moving your eyes. This application uses AssemblyAI’s Speech-to-Text API to transcribe the audio/video file to text, then streams the text on the screen, allowing users to read one word at a time without moving their eyes.

This app has two main features:

1) Start, pause, or resume the stream of transcribed words displayed on the screen.

2) Change how fast the words are streamed on the screen using the WPM input.

We are highly impressed with the creativity that went into all the projects, and how students used the AssemblyAI API in such creative ways!. We can’t wait for another round of Hack The Valley next year!