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PRESS RELEASE -20 August 2020

Our partnership with Speech Graphics

Alana and Speech Graphics Announce Partnership Agreement that paves the way for AI avatars which can maintain complex conversations with end users:

  • The partnership provides potential for diverse new applications, from virtual assistants to gaming characters
  • Nehat Krasniqi, CEO and co-founder of Alana: “We want to harness this relationship to open up a diversity of new opportunities with our existing as well as future clients” 
  • Dr Gregor Hofer, CEO and co-founder of Speech Graphics: “Our relationship with Alana will allow us to take award winning conversational AI to our clients.”

Edinburgh, 20 August 2020 Alana, a Heriot-Watt University spin-out developing groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) software that can understand and respond to to users in a human-like, conversational way, and Speech Graphics, a provider of world-class facial animation technology, today announced a new partnership that will allow them to collaborate and serve clients that are looking for an interactive AI solution to meet needs of their end users.

The pioneering conversational AI technology developed by Alana, a two-time finalist (2017, 2018) at the Amazon Alexa Prize can hold ongoing conversations, learning about the user’s interests based on context and location, across multiple user touchpoints.  In turn, this allows the AI to proactively suggest new and relevant subject matter.

Speech Graphics provides high-fidelity, real-time facial animation from audio input alone. The Speech Graphics technology has featured in video games, music videos, communication apps, training tools and more with clients such as Microsoft and Electronic Arts.

This relationship between the Alana and Speech Graphics software provides a platform for new applications, from virtual assistants to gaming characters and companion bots.

“It is my pleasure to announce this new partnership, through which we will be able to complement Alana with the addition of Speech Graphics’ visual elements, allowing users to connect in more emotionally driven contexts. Speech Graphics has a fantastic reputation building characters and bringing human stories to life. We want to harness this relationship to open up a diversity of new opportunities for our existing as well as future clients,” said Nehat Krasniqi, Alana CEO and co-founder.

“Conversational AI is here to stay, and our partnership with Alana will allow us to bring our current and future clients an award-winning solution in this space.”  said Gregor Hofer, Speech Graphics CEO and co-founder.  

 For more information about Alana please visit and for more information about Speech Graphics.



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