Fano Labs Speech Technologies featured on TVB Documentary

An interview by TVB's programme "Logging into the Greater Bay Area"

Fano Labs Speech Technologies featured on TVB Documentary
January 12, 2022
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Hong Kong startup company Fano Labs launched speech recognition technology for Cantonese to help enterprises analyze telephone recordings and improve the quality of customer service, and the company will further promote its business to the Greater Bay Area this year.

"To ensure the quality of service, the following conversations may be recorded."

When calling a business organization, you often hear this sentence. How are these call recordings typically handled?

Albert Lam, the company's chief technology officer, said: "Usually when the administrators perform audio checks and sampling, they may pick one to two percent of the phone calls to listen, and pass the checks if there are no key issues. But in case there is any problem with a phone call, it may become a big trouble."

The industry said that companies generally only sample and analyze a small number of recordings, and it is difficult to grasp all the conversation information. A Hong Kong science and technology innovation companies have developed intelligent speech recognition tools for regional languages such as Cantonese, which is convenient for banks, telecommunications and other enterprises to analyze the content of all customer calls and comprehensively supervise the quality of services.

Albert Lam said: "The recording of the conversation between the guest and the customer service is passed into our system, and all the text is automatically displayed, and we can see whether the customer service has done the corresponding things, such as whether there is a welcome speech, a conclusion, professional language, all of which we can check." For example, you can listen to this sentence."

The voice system recording showed: "Miss Chen, your address is not Room 1301 of the Tianxi Building, we know where you live." 


Albert said: "The rule (for the customer service) is never read out the address of the guest, and there is also an intimidation element, and we can detect this possible violation of the situation." Our system can listen to all the phone calls (recordings) as AI (artificial intelligence)  uses a computer that runs 24 hours a day. It will not have any emotions nor feel tired and works continuously." 

Fano Labs was co-founded four years ago by Dr. Miles Wen and his supervisor, Professor Victor Li, and was supported by about 1 million dollars from HKU's entrepreneurship incubation program. Dr. Miles Wen said that although similar technology already exists in the mainland, there are fewer speech recognition services for Cantonese. This year, the company will expand its business to Shenzhen and other cities in the Greater Bay Area.

"The Greater Bay Area makes it easier for us to do business in Guangdong Province, and we all enjoy the Technology Talent Entry Scheme," Dr. Miles Wen said. After this  (plan),  many colleagues in Shenzhen can come to Hong Kong to work if they want, which makes us much more flexible and enhances the circulation of talents." 

 

Miles who grew up from the Mainland believes that Hong Kong has a high level of scientific research and international standards, and will still be headquartered in Hong Kong in the future, which can take into account the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asian markets.

"Hong Kong has always been more international, for example, you can still manage to live in Hong Kong, even if you don't speak Chinese but only English. But in Shenzhen, there is a certain degree of difficulty.”

“We aim to expand our market, mainly into the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia. The mainland market is also very important to us. If we expand outside the Greater Bay Area, we normally will collaborate with partners. We provide the technology for them to do the front-line works." 

The company said that opening up the Greater Bay Area market provides valuable experience for future development, and they have expanded to other parts of the mainland such as Sichuan Province to explore new business opportunities.