2018 Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism winner


About the Project

Trint uses artificial intelligence to power its web-based automated transcription platform. Audio and video files are uploaded to Trint’s online software and then transcribed using automated speech recognition.The Trint Editor is the marriage of a text editor to an audio/video player: the transcribed text is “stitched” to the source audio or video file, making it simple to search, verify and edit the machine-generated transcripts. Users can instantly time the length of their soundbites. They can export their verified transcripts as an MS Word document, VTT and SRT for subtitles, or as EDL (edit decision list) for video editing. The web-based software is complemented by an iPhone mobile app that allows users to record, upload and view transcripts; future plans for the mobile app also include the ability to edit transcripts. Transcription on Trint is currently available in multiple English accents and 12 European languages.

Trint’s founder, Jeff Kofman, is a 30-year veteran broadcast journalist and an Emmy-winning war correspondent and foreign correspondent with ABC and CBS News. Through a chance meeting with a team of developers he saw an opportunity to team up to transform the way journalists access the content of recorded interviews, speeches and news conferences, allowing them to focus their time and energy on creating compelling stories, faster. From the beginning he knew that if they could make Trint work for the media industry, it would also work for many others beyond media.

The market has told us there is a huge need and a huge appetite for Trint. Getting the content out of audio and video recordings remains one of the biggest bottlenecks in the media production workflow. Transcription is a tedious and time-consuming task that few people like to do. By leveraging artificial intelligence with Trint’s Editor, Trint speeds up workflows, dramatically reduces labor, opens the distribution channels for recorded content, improves the SEO of recorded media published online and makes content accessible for people with hearing and sight disabilities. Above all, Trint makes people’s lives easier. We see Trint as a new language that makes recorded content searchable and discoverable in the 21st century.

Trint was founded in December 2014 and launched in open beta in September 2016. The product was officially launched a year later in July 2017. Trint has grown from four employees at its inception to 34 employees currently: 19 of these employees work in software development, UX and UI; the remaining 15 are split among marketing, sales, success, finance and customer support.

Trint has raised $5.1M in four funding rounds; key investors include Horizons Labs, part of Li-Ka Shing’s Horizon’s Ventures group, and the Miami-based Knight Foundation, a leading funder of media innovation. In 2016 Trint won the Startups for News Award from the Global Editors Network as well as an innovation grant from Google’s Digital News Initiative to accelerate development.