ELSA (English Language Speech Assistant), an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered mobile app made by US-based edutech company, ELSA Corp (estd. 2015) with tech offices in Vietnam, Portugal and India, has disbursed a Rs 56 crore worth free subscription grant to children across India beginning April. The subscription allowed students to access all the 1600 plus pre-built English lessons and conversations on 40 different topics for a period of three months.
The ‘ELSA Speak’ app which was introduced in India last year is used by various schools, colleges, vocational training institutions and businesses in India and internationally. The app which aims to become the preferred app to speak American English more fluently for an estimated 1.5 billion language learners globally uses proprietary speech recognition technology that detects people’s pronunciation mistakes with 95 percent accuracy. Pinpointing errors in the learner’s words, sentences and conversations, it provides real-time fully automated feedback on pronunciation mistakes with specific suggestions to improve. It also has a dictionary to enable proper sentence construction along with picture elements for more clarity.
“ELSA addresses a very common problem faced by non-native English speakers across the globe who despite being proficient in English grammar and vocabulary are often difficult to understand due to the influence of their native language accent. However, ELSA’s use of AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) helps cater to a variety of dialects and accents. At present, the app has around 40 dialects on its platform and we plan to take the number to 100 in the next one year. In India, ELSA offers Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Telugu and Tamil as an option under ‘mother tongue’ to non-native English speakers as NLP acknowledges the influence of the mother tongue on English speaking. A comprehensive analysis of the user’s linguistic needs allows the app to customise lesson plans/modules for the user based on a few variables i.e. accent, vowel, syllables, phonetics, rhythm and intonations,” says Manit Parikh, Country Head-India, Elsa Corp.
The app has won various global awards for its state-of-the-art use of and NLP in the field of education – it was chosen as ‘app of the day’ by Apple in 2019 and 2020 and the company featured among ‘Top100 influencers in state of EdTech report’ by EdTech Digest 2020.Posted in Corporate, News