Already, I have spent over sixty hours in a recording studio working with CereProc – one of the leading companies in the world on Text-to-Speech synthesis – pushing to the limit what is possible to voice-bank.
We’ve used two totally different technologies: Deep Neural Net (where we hope to build in expressiveness, and indeed make me sing) and Unit Selection (unable to handle much emotion but still the best possible voice if you want to sound like you’re reading the News).
We finally finished all the necessary recording just before my voice became too bad to continue. But the important point is that my voice is now safe.
Now, with key members of the Think Tank, we’re going to devise an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to drive my voice synthesiser, listening to what people are saying, and proposing suitable responses based on how I normally reply. At last, this offers Verbal Spontaneity to those of us that can only communicate using an eye-tracking system.