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Irish Deep Tech Start-Up Leads the World in Mitigating Racial Bias Learning

Fresh from recent international certification by global non-profit Digital Promise, SoapBox Labs, the Dublin, Ireland-based voice AI company

is taking the education world by storm with speech technology that is designed from the ground up to cater specifically to children’s unique voices and unpredictable speech patterns.

With the support of Enterprise Ireland, SoapBox Labs continues to carve out an enviable and leading position in the preK-12 education world.  Soapbox Labs empowers young students and their teachers with accurate, proven, and automated speech recognition that voice-enables literacy and language tools and returns rich and real-time data back to educators about the progress and instruction needs of every child in their classrooms.

In October 2022, SoapBox became the first AI company to receive the new Prioritizing Racial Equity in AI Design Product Certification launched by Digital Promise and The Edtech Equity Project in recognition of the critical importance of mitigating racial bias in learning tools and technologies.

“There is so much potential for voice-enabled learning to help educators and young students,” says Martyn Farrows, Ph.D., CEO of SoapBox Labs. “To unlock that potential the voice-enabled products used in the classroom must be accurate and treat all kids’ voices equally, regardless of accent, age, race or socio-economic background.” 

In addition to industry-leading clients like McGraw Hill, Imagine Learning, Amplify, MetaMetrics, and Learning without Tears, SoapBox Labs last week announced a partnership with EarlyBird Education, a renowned dyslexia screening and early literacy platform incubated at Boston University Hospital.  The integration of SoapBox’s speech recognition technology allows educators to use the EarlyBird dyslexia screener to quickly and accurately assess pre-reading students’ oral language skills, and in turn, identify the challenges facing struggling young students before they even start to learn to read.

“Teachers are missing the oral language data they need to proactively identify potential reading difficulties like dyslexia in young children,” said CEO Dr. Martyn Farrows. “Our partnership with EarlyBird makes this gold-standard approach to early literacy assessments more readily available at scale to teachers. The implications for our youngest learners — and their dedicated teachers — is really exciting.”

Lauding SoapBox’s singular achievements to date and the promising future in store for the company, Trade Development Executive at Enterprise Ireland Niamh O’Donnell said, SoapBox Labs represents the true Irish spirit of ingenuity, innovation, and cutting-edge technology that Irish businesses bring to the world stage.”

Enterprise Ireland values accessible education, and Soapbox Labs is spreading Irish innovation in the US, assuring that all children have the opportunity to improve their language skills.

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