Image Source: Sean MacEntee
Chloe Shakesby

London AI startup secures £8m funding for new research

A London artificial intelligence startup has announced that it has secured £8m in funding to invest in new research.

Papercup secured the funding following a round led by LocalGlobe and Sands Capital Ventures, alongside Sky, GMG Ventures, Entrepreneur First and BDMI.

The company has created an AI and machine learning-based system capable of translating people’s voices and ways of expression into other languages.

It plans to use the funding to invest in further machine learning research and to make “high-quality dubbing” accessible across the world.

It will also expand its ‘human-in-the-loop’ quality control function, which is used to customise the quality of the AI-translated videos.

Jesse Shemen, co-founder and CEO of Papercup, commented: “Most of the world’s videos - billions of hours of content - are shackled to a single language.

“And that’s for a simple reason - quality dubbing is prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, so current solutions only work for a select group of deep-pocketed content owners.

“Speech translation technology fundamentally changes the dynamics of how content is distributed and monetised.

“The technology we created will level the playing field - allowing all forms of video and audio to be consumed in any language, therefore vastly multiplying the potential reach for all content creators.”

Mish Mashkautsan, partner at LocalGlobe, said: “Papercup and its founders have developed a truly disruptive technology.

“Not only have they identified a huge potential market within the global media industry, giving a wide variety of creators access to the sort of capabilities that have previously been the preserve of only the biggest conglomerates; but they have created a new market related to the future of human interaction.

“Looking ahead, this next generation technology will have an impact by breaking down language barriers and changing the way in which we are able to interact beyond our own native languages.”

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