United States, MIT
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Public speaking is America’s number one fear. In a study by the Washington Post, over 25% of Americans rated it as their biggest phobia, surpassing heights and claustrophobia. The reason for this fear could be attributed to two parts: the complexity of the presentation itself as well as the lack of resources. First, to be a great speaker, you need to perfect your speech, eye contact, and gestures, which can be an extremely daunting task that requires a lot of multitasking. On top of that, there’s not a lot of ways for us to hone our public speaking skills. The most common solutions out there are public speaking classes or practicing with a partner, but these solutions are often expensive, embarrassing or don’t lead to great feedback. We created SpeakEasy by combining computer vision, speech recognition, and artificial intelligence to create an intelligent and personalized public speaking trainer. Our tool can essentially be broken down into two parts. Speech recognition and gesture recognition. With Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, SpeakEasy can automatically transcribe their speech, count then number of filler words, as well as analyze patterns in their talk. Our second feature is gesture recognition, which can analyze patterns in the user’s gesture as well as plot the range of motion of the user’s hands. Our next steps include features such as gaze tracking, which can help users work on maintaining eye contact, volume control, which can help users work on projection, intelligent gestures, which suggest meaningful gestures to help engage audience, as well as personalizing the dashboard.
Jenny Xue is a senior at MIT studying computer science and dad-jokes. In her free time you can catch her grabbing a “byte” at her favorite restaurants in Boston. Binh Le is a senior at MIT studying computer science. In his free time you can catch him kicking it at the soccer field with his friends.