Skip to main content

Is Spinvox Spinning Its Way Out Of Controversy?

In an intriguing story, the BBC has claimed that the speech to text messaging company, Spinvox, primarily depends upon outsourced call centres to transcribe voice messages instead of an automated tool as the firm touts.

A recent report by the broadcaster quoted a number of patent applications showing human intervention in the voice to text conversion services provided by the company.

It further quoted a US Spinvox customer who claimed to have received a message from a staffer at a call centre based in Pakistan. The message clearly shows that the company relies heavily on human involvement for delivering its services.

However, the company has finally admitted its dependence on outsourced call centres and started to back down from its previous claims that most of the translation is carried out by AI-based machine translation software.

Responding to the reports from the BBC, the head of social media at Spinvox James Whatley wrote in a blog post; “SpinVox only employs agents to step in when messages need analysis and the machine gets to decide. However, the agents in question will only ever hear/see the specific parts of the messages that need work on”.

In a related story, Spinvox also asserted it is “close to securing” new phase of funding this week, having seemingly utilised a major part of its $100 million funding, raised in March last year.

Our Comments

Spinvox should have been more proactive and journalist-friendly from the start. Being investigated by someone from the BBC who is known for being one of the finest writers in the world of technology has to be dealt with all the tact and finesse possible.

Related Links

Humans central in Spinvox patents (opens in new tab)

(BBC)

Spinvox hopes new funds will ease its cash crunch (opens in new tab)

(Guardian)

Spinvox saga takes new turn (opens in new tab)

(V3.co.uk)

Questions over security of Spinvox services (opens in new tab)

(Legalbrief)

Spinbox rebuffs security allegations (opens in new tab)

(Security Watch)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.