Personalized Computerized Voices

Cool example of technology making life measurably better for people with disabilities via NPR’s TED Radio Hour.

The technology was developed by speech scientist Rupal Patel, and provides a customized robot voice for people who have difficulty expressing their thoughts as speech.

And from that we can gather the pitch of her voice, the quality of her voice. Is it raspy, is it breathy? And we take what we can from those vocalizations and use them in the process where we generate a voice for her that sounds like her.

So how do you go about building this voice? Well, you have to find someone who’s willing to be a surrogate. For Samantha, her surrogate came from somewhere in the Midwest, a stranger who gave her the gift of voice.

Really cool story. Listen to it here.