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Speech Synthesizers

What is speech synthesis?

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An example of a speech synthesizer.

Speech Synthesis is the artificial production of human speech.  A speech synthesizer is the system used for the purpose of speech synthesis, and it can be implemented in software or hardware.  It is considered an assistive technology, as it is used to increase or improve the abilities of inidividuals with disabilities and to promote independence across all areas of daily living.

Some key terms you might need to know ...

Naturalness - refers to how much the output of a synthesizer sounds like the speech of a real person
 
Intelligibility - refers to how easily the synthesized speech is understood
 
Concatenated - to arrange strings of characters into a chained list
 
TTS (Text-to-speech) System - a speech synthesizer which turns text into audible speech

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Text-to-Speech

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Stephen Hawking

Did You Know ... ?
 
   A man named Stephen Hawking is said to be the smartest human on Earth.  From a young age, Hawking had a great talent in mathematics and physics.  During his time studying at Oxford University, he became particularly interested in the fields of thermodynamics and quantum mechanics.
   Unfortunately, when Hawking was 21 he began to see signs of a disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  Do to his disease, he was forced to have a tracheostomy in 1985, leaving him using a voice synthesizer to communicate. He has since lost the use of his arms, legs, and voice.  The computer system that is strapped to his wheelchair is operated by Hawking manually using a blink recognizer, which is implanted in his glasses. He is able to talk, compose research papers and speeches, browse the World Wide Web, and write e-mails. He is also able to control the doors, lights, and lifts in his home using this system.
   Because of speech synthesis technology, people such as Stephen Hawking are able to communicate with little hassle.

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