Matthew Aylett,



Speech synthesis is a key enabling technology for pervasive and mobile
computing as well as a key requirement for accessability. Adding
character to synthetic voices is a requirement for effective
interaction and for devices that wish to present a coherant branded

In this talk I will argue that current approaches to sythesis, and
current commercial pressures, make it difficult for many systems to
create characterful synthesis. We will present how CereProc’s approach
differs from the industry standard and how we have attempted to
maintain and increase the characterfullness of CereVoice’s
output. (Online demo available at

We will outline the expressive synthesis markup that is supported by
the system, how these are expressed in underlying digital signal
processing and selection tags. Finally we will present the concept of
second pass synthesis where cues can be manually tweaked to allow
direct control of intonation style, and where synthesis can be
seamlessly mixed with pre-recorded prompts to produce extremely
natural output.

We will also demonstrate how we can use synthesis to ‘clone’ celebrity
voices with a brief demonstration of voices copied from George W. Bush

Time permiting I will also demonstrate some experiments looking at
hybrid approaches to parametric/unit selection synthesis.


Date: 2010-Sep-10     Time: 15:00:00     Room: 336

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