New survey shows
The robotic speaking style of Theresa May often earns her jeers from pundits and the public but it’s proven to be a hit with one audience – artificial intelligence.
In a test of speeches by leading UK politicians by London-based Trint, a service that uses AI to generate almost instant transcripts of audio and video, May was the easiest to understand followed by Jeremy Hunt. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow and Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon scored lowest.
To conduct the Trint Index test, Trint ran speeches through its automated speech-to-text software, and used Word Error Rate (WER), a common speech recognition metric measuring the number of substituted, deleted, and inserted words to produce a rate of inaccuracy. A transcript with a WER of 5.5 is 5.5 percent inaccurate or, conversely, 94.5 percent accurate
Trint transcribed 98.28 percent of May’s infamous 2017 Conservative party conference speech correctly. Trint CEO Jeff Kofman credited the high accuracy to May’s clear enunciation, slow delivery, and lack of audience interruption. One of the few errors for May’s speech was the transcription of “George Osborne” as “George Osmo ball.” Kofman noted that less-common names or new words can result in errors, as was the case for Nigel Farage, whose invented word “Dexit” (for Denmark leaving the EU) was transcribed as “DECT.”
To give a sense of how background noise and cacophony can make it difficult for AI to transcribe speech, Trint also tested Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain. Due to Morgan’s tendency to speak over guests and interrupt them, he came in at the bottom of the poll, with an 82.25 percent accurate transcription.
Trint Index results:
- Theresa May (98.25 per cent accurate)
- Jeremy Hunt (97.58 per cent accurate)
- TIED: Jeremy Corbyn and Amber Rudd (97.49 per cent accurate)
5. Vince Cable (97.72 per cent accurate)
6. Arlene Foster (96.9 per cent accurate)
7. Boris Johnson (96.75 per cent accurate)
8. Jacob Rees-Mogg (96.13 per cent accurate)
9. John Bercow (95.21 per cent accurate)
10. Queen Elizabeth (95.19 per cent accurate)
11. Nigel Farage (93.32 per cent accurate)
12. Nicola Sturgeon (92.96 per cent accurate)
13. Piers Morgan (82.25 per cent accurate)