As regular readers of my website are aware, I’ve long been concerned about the impact of expensive court transcripts on access to justice. So I was excited to learn about Verbit, a company that has leveraged AI to expedite the time, and reduce the costs of producing a transcript. Here’s our e-interview with Tom Livne, the company founder.
Q: Please tell us your name, the name of your company and what it does.
A: Tom Livne, CEO and Co-Founder of Verbit, an AI-driven transcription and captioning solution.
Q: Tell us a little about the history of your company and why you decided to focus on AI-powered transcription services?
A: Before I found myself in the world of tech startups, I began my career in law, where transcripts are essential. I was often unsatisfied with the slow turnaround time for a finished transcript. This stuck in the back of my mind as I moved on to my next professional endeavor as a commercial banking associate. I had always been an entrepreneur at heart, and I decided to take the leap and start my own tech company. Drawing on my prior experience with legal transcription, I felt that this was an important need in the market and that a viable solution could be found with the right technology.
Q: Did your company start with the intent of serving the legal industry? What industries do you currently serve?
A: Though our initial plan was to bring AI transcription to the legal industry, we have also found tremendous success within the higher education vertical. In academia, there are accessibility laws that require institutions to provide captioned videos and full lecture transcripts for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Verbit fills this requirement, allowing institutions to breathe easy knowing they are in compliance with regulations, while also offering a faster, more accurate and cost-effective solution. Currently, Verbit is being used in universities such as London Business School, Stanford, Harvard, FIT, Brigham Young University-Idaho, and the University of California Santa Barbara to bridge accessibility gaps within the classroom. Verbit is also being used by online and distance learning institutions such as Coursera and Udacity.
Q: How is Verbit being used in the legal industry? Has it been employed by courts or attorneys to prepare transcripts?
A: Because there isn’t an overwhelming amount of innovation and technology in the legal vertical, AI-enhanced transcription stands to completely disrupt the industry. Due to manual processes, the quality and turnaround time of traditional transcription services often suffer. With the help of machine learning, Verbit’s solution is able to help tackle the court reporter shortage and provide companies with the technology to make reporters more efficient to cover all jobs and offer more affordable transcripts within a faster time frame. With Verbit’s solution, court reporting companies can receive an accurate, workable transcript within days. That’s virtually unheard of in the industry and represents a significant breakthrough.
Q: Do you anticipate that Verbit will replace court reporters?
A: Our solution involves an extensive network of professional freelancers, who edit and review the transcripts that are generated by our AI technology. Through this model, we provide a flexible and rewarding career option for thousands of people. While we are opening a new type of job, Verbit is a complementary solution to the court reporters, as we cover the proof-reading, while court reporters are still very much needed to focus on the stenography.
Q: Are there other applications for Verbit in the legal industry, and if so, what are they?
A: In addition to customer care and daily guidance throughout the workflow, Verbit’s platform provides customers with video synchronization, customized template building, and rough drafts.
Q: Congratulations on this new round of funding. How do you plan to use it?
A: Because we have a very high demand from academia and law, we plan on using this funding round to help support these sectors on a larger scale. However, we are looking to expand to new verticals as well. We will also use the latest investment to support our global growth initiatives, including scaling our sales, marketing, and product teams, driving solution development, and accelerating our U.S. expansion.
Q: What can lawyers expect with respect to transcription and captioning services over the next five years – and what opportunities will be available to reduce costs for clients?
A: Lawyers should expect their workflows to be covered faster and more efficiently.
We see the massive potential for a technology solution in this vertical and we prioritize understanding the needs of the market to fill the gap. It’s estimated that there is a shortage of approximately 5000 court reporters in the U.S. We are well aware of the challenge this brings to the market, and we are developing our product accordingly to be able to offer a solution that supports business requirements while enabling unprecedented scalability. We believe that this market can become smarter with a combination of AI technology and human intelligence, and we are providing it.