A new video game from the Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs seeks to help stuttering children improve their speech. Released last Friday to coincide with International Stuttering Awareness Day, Friends of fluidity is the world’s first game designed with the help of AI and speech therapy science.
Friends of fluidity is a voice-activated edutainment game for ages 5 and up (although the game is designed for anyone who stutters) in which players help Zumi, a famous songwriter / singer who mysteriously loses the ability to speaking, traveling to different islands, each focused on a different speaking technique. These techniques will allow players to control their vocal cords, flex their pitch range, speak under pressure, etc. Additionally, the game tracks the player’s progress in the game and speech using proprietary AI-based speech recognition technology, with the ability to send these results to the player’s physician. “Speech therapists have access to their client profiles from their own Fluency Friends login page, which provides objective information on the types of motor activities mastered which are difficult ” the creators of the game explain in a report from the Brussels Times
Based in Leuven, Belgium, Say It Labs was created in February 2019 and is a “spin-off” of Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Interuniversity Center for Microelectronics. Founded by Lukas Latacz and Erich Reiter, the company’s goal is to develop AI-based speech recognition technology to support people with speech impairments. Friends of fluidity marks the company’s first publicly accessible game, made possible with the help of renowned language proficiency specialists who provide evidence-based advice and research on techniques that improve speech at the neurological, physiological levels and linguistics.
You can play Friends of fluidity by signing up for the beta on the Say It Labs website.