We were proud to welcome the House of Lords yesterday as part of an inquiry into the work of digital regulators by the Communications and Digital Select Committee.

The aim of the inquiry is to investigate the effectiveness of digital regulation, building on the Committee’s previous report Regulating in a digital world, which was published in March 2019. 

In ‘Regulating in a digital world’, the Committee found that regulators had failed to keep pace with advances in digital technologies. There are over a dozen regulators with a remit covering the digital world and this fragmentation has led to both gaps and overlaps in regulation. New regulation was too often driven by responding to newspaper headlines rather than strategic thinking. 

 “Visiting Cambridge and Audio Analytic today provided a fascinating insight into emerging technologies and their uses. It will be very useful for our work on digital regulation, on which we will produce a report next month.” – Lord Gilbert of Panteg, Chair, Communications and Digital Select Committee 

Our very own Dr Chris Mitchell, CEO and Founder talked about our company, sound recognition technology and discussed our best practice approach to data collection and management. We have built Alexandria™, the world’s largest audio dataset for machine learning with over 40 million labelled recordings, across 1,200 classes and featuring over 500 million metadata points. 

We also gave a tour of our Sound Labs which includes a large semi-anechoic chamber and a fully anechoic chamber. These chambers are designed to absorb reflections of sound and insulate from external noise sources, acting like a green screen for audio recording, which is essential for data collection and augmentation. 

Dr Mitchell said: “Machine learning is heavily dependent on data. It needs to be realistic, relevant and diverse in order to build reliable AI systems but in order to avoid the serious legal and reputational risks involved, the data you collect and manage has to be sourced correctly.” 

“Regulators around the world are starting to ask questions about where data comes from and how it is used for AI systems. As the global regulatory landscape around data evolves, I expect that regulators will demand traceability and transparency, which is what we are prepared for. We were delighted to host the House of Lords committee and to talk about data and artificial intelligence and how we’ve managed to build large datasets that comply with regulatory requirements.” 

In April 2021, we published a whitepaper on the subject of audio data management for machine learning, which highlighted the issues and set out a number of principles. You can download it here.

The House of Lords Communications and Digtial Select Committee also visited Microsoft Research, Myrtle.ai and Invenia Labs as part of their inquiry. 


About Audio Analytic 

Audio Analytic is on a mission to create exceptional human experiences through a greater sense of hearing. This empowers machines with the ability to react to the world around us, helping satisfy our entertainment, safety, security, wellbeing, convenience, and communication needs across a huge range of consumer products.  

Audio Analytic’s ai3™ and ai3-nano™ compact software platforms are suitable for embedding into a wide range of products from smart speakers and video doorbells, to smartphones and wearables. They have been licensed to some of the world’s most prominent consumer technology companies and bring accurate and robust sound recognition to many products available today. 

Audio Analytic have produced a number of whitepapers and resports on the risks and responsibilities of audio data rights management and you can gain access to them for free by following the links below. 

Audio for Machine Learning: The Law and your Reputation 

Why Real Sounds Matter for Machine Learning


House of Lords Communication and Digital Select Committee 

You can read the official announcement (7th September 2021) detailing new inquiry, background and objectives here.   

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