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How It Works: Voxy Cassius™

“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

That’s what Cassius Clay—who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali—once said about his boxing skills. Ali is considered one of the best athletes of his time, but the “Cassius” I’m referring to is Voxy’s proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) tool, Voxy Cassius™. It’s the powerful tool Voxy’s publishers use every day to create authentic language-learning material that helps millions of people improve their English language skills.

Have you ever wondered why Voxy learning materials are neither too difficult nor too easy? Or why lessons always align with personal interests and goals? That’s Voxy Cassius™ at work. Voxy Cassius™ allows us to offer genuine, dynamic, and adaptable learning material to suit each learner’s unique needs and personal interests.

Voxy Cassius™ makes this possible by systematically extracting information from real-world content—online videos and magazine articles, for example—and then automatically analyzing the rich mine of information that each piece of content provides. In this way, Voxy Cassius™ breaks any given content item down into its respective parts for the learner.

Voxy Cassius™ is really a combination of several advanced NLP tools, which is what makes it such an effective technology. Here are some of its capabilities:

  1. Voxy Cassius™ automatically assigns difficulty levels to new learning material. Learning is only effective when learners are able to truly engage with the material being presented to them. If the material is too difficult, learners will simply not be able to engage with it, which means they won’t be able to understand or retain the information. Voxy Cassius™ is designed to assign an appropriate level of difficulty to any learning material, which makes each lesson more approachable and ultimately more effective.
  2. Voxy Cassius™ automatically assesses the difficulty level of individual words. Research has shown that some words are more difficult for second language learners to acquire, which is why Voxy recognizes the importance of estimating the level of difficulty for each word.
  3. Voxy Cassius™ automatically extracts appropriate keywords from learning material. Keywords accurately represent the content of a text and are the foundation of each learner’s developing dictionary. Voxy Cassius™ can pick out keywords from learning material and tailor each lesson around them so that a learner has all the information needed to understand any text. These keywords also help learners with other tasks, like summarization, document clustering (grouping similar words or descriptors together), and text mining (picking out high-quality information from a text).
  4. Voxy Cassius™ automatically finds words that look and sound similar to a word.
  5. Voxy Cassius™ automatically finds synonyms and antonyms of a word.
  6. Voxy Cassius™ automatically lists all the possible definitions of a word, including the best definition given the context in which the word is used.

By employing all of these NLP tools at once—plus many others like tokenization (segmenting running text into words and sentences), part-of-speech tagging and parsing (grammatical analysis)—Voxy Cassius™ not only provides the framework for an effective language-learning program, it also helps our content publishing team save time by generating a high volume of accurate, usable learning material automatically. The material also becomes dynamic, adapting to meet a learner’s needs based on topical preferences, difficulty level, and individual tasks and lessons that change instead of remaining static and predictable. All of these features, coupled with a recommendation engine, ensure that the learning material is genuine, personalized, and level-appropriate.

Cesar Koirala - Computational Linguist
Cesar Koirala Computational Linguist

Voxy Cassius™ gives Voxy the power to do what many other language-learning providers cannot: offer authentic, real-world content to learners that native speakers would consume in their own lives. It’s essential that learners have the resources to complete real-world tasks in a new language, from running errands and dining out to forging relationships and getting a job. Whatever a learner’s goals are, the ability to genuinely interact with the world is paramount.

Want to learn more? See Voxy Cassius™ in action: