Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

AI in Action: WIPO to Pilot New Digital System for WIPO Meeting Records

October 3, 2019

Capitalizing on recent developments in digital technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), WIPO member states have decided to implement a new system for producing records of WIPO meetings that would lead to significant time- and cost savings. The decision was taken during the WIPO Assemblies meetings being held from September 30 to October 9, 2019.


Director General Francis Gurry presented the proposed new approach, in which the current, resource-intensive verbatim reports of WIPO meetings would be replaced by automatically generated, and automatically translated, speech-to-text transcripts of meetings in the six United Nations (UN) languages - using WIPO’s own Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. The automated text transcripts will be complemented by a new audiovisual system, providing digitally indexed and searchable conference video recordings.

“This marks another important step in the digital transformation of the Organization,” Mr. Gurry told delegates. “Our objective is to leverage new technologies to provide our member states with a better, faster service, which supports our commitment to multilingualism, while also delivering major cost savings.” He noted the high cost of the current system of producing and translating verbatim records of WIPO meetings, which are estimated at some CHF 2.6 million per biennium.

The proposal was approved by member states, who agreed on an initial one-year pilot phase, during which member states would trial the new approach in the meetings of two WIPO Committees, the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property and the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents.

About WIPO Speech-to-Text (S2T)

The new AI-based WIPO Speech-to-Text (S2T) application developed by WIPO has been trained using huge volumes of data from previous WIPO meeting records, leading to high levels of accuracy, with particular strengths in the recognition of diverse accents. Fully automated, it produces a complete, searchable, editable transcript of hours of conference proceedings within minutes, together with a synchronized video display.

Both the WIPO S2T tool and WIPO Translate tool are being made available to other United Nations and intergovernmental organizations.