While it may sound easy to just say something to somebody you’d like to talk to, a lot of people can’t do that. But now, with technology, it will be possible. All thanks to a new smartphone app. The app is currently being created under a programme called VocaliD.
VocaliD is a organization that’s working on a smartphone app, a way of letting people donate their voice to those who can’t speak as well as creating customized synthetic voices for them. It’s perhaps more demanding than regular charitable causes because it demands your time, and not your money.
Here’s how it works: After recording you send it to VocalID, where a program called ModelTalker chops it up into the basic units of speech that can be recombined as novel words and sentences. In that same step, characteristics of the patient’s voice-based on what limited sounds they can make-are blended in to the donor’s to create a whole new one. You can listen to how it works out on VocalID’s website.
There are millions of people with speech impairments, and currently the vast majority of them must use generic synthesized voices to communicate. Apple’s Siri is a voice built from human samples, although in her case the voice wasn’t “mixed” with anyone else’s.
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