Kelvin Chan Cheong Kei

Student Affairs Office Publications and Highlights   Student Stories   Kelvin Chan Cheong Kei  
The workshops and guidance from the consultants motivated and inspire him to look at his project, called “Voiceless”, from multiple perspectives so that it became more holistic.

It is not difficult to imagine people who are either profoundly deaf or suffer from various levels of hearing impairment may have experienced struggles in aspects of daily life and, if in regular schools, they may encounter barriers to communication which make it hard for them to keep pace with their classmates. According to Kelvin Chan, who is hearing-impaired, this may lead to a loss of self-confidence and lower motivation, with the result that many lose hope about further study and future careers.

As an IT specialist, Chan started to explore fast-evolving AI (artificial intelligence) applications for a potential solution. His aim was to develop an online platform with real-time transcription and captioning functions. This would also produce subtitles for videos and thus facilitate learning.

Bolstered by his lofty goals, Chan aimed to further build on his project with expert advice from seasoned entrepreneurs by entering MetroChallenge, an incubation programme organised by HKMU. Chan acknowledges that he has benefited considerably from this. The workshops and guidance from the consultants motivated and inspire him to look at his project, called “Voiceless”, from multiple perspectives so that it became more holistic.

In preparing for the competition, he also improved his presentation skills, essential since he had just 10 minutes to explain his ideas to the panel of judges. Another takeaway from MetroChallenge was a better understanding of likely “pain points” of target customers.

“At the development and execution stages, it was important to align my product with what users want,” Chan says. “I learned to constantly collect feedback and keep making improvements.”

So far, the platform has two core features. One uses AI speech-to-text technology to transcribe and caption live classroom conversations. The other creates subtitles for the audio narration in videos. Initially, the platform works for Cantonese, Putonghua and English.

Chan’s next goal is to build a customised speech recognition engine which will allow individuals who are hard of hearing or deaf to pronounce words more accurately.

“Because I have a full-time job and I am a father, my greatest challenge is time management,” he says. “There are only 24 hours in a day, so you must know how to prioritise.”