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Recently TTS systems have begun to use HMMs discussed above to generate " parts of speech " to aid in disambiguating homographs. This technique is quite successful for many cases such as whether "read" should be pronounced as "red" implying past tense, or as "reed" implying present tense. Typical error rates when using HMMs in this fashion are usually below five percent. These techniques also work well for most European languages, although access to required training corpora is frequently difficult in these languages.
Deciding how to convert numbers is another problem that TTS systems have to address. It is a simple programming challenge to convert a number into words at least in English , like "" becoming "one thousand three hundred twenty-five. A TTS system can often infer how to expand a number based on surrounding words, numbers, and punctuation, and sometimes the system provides a way to specify the context if it is ambiguous. Similarly, abbreviations can be ambiguous. For example, the abbreviation "in" for "inches" must be differentiated from the word "in", and the address "12 St John St.
TTS systems with intelligent front ends can make educated guesses about ambiguous abbreviations, while others provide the same result in all cases, resulting in nonsensical and sometimes comical outputs, such as "co-operation" being rendered as "company operation". Speech synthesis systems use two basic approaches to determine the pronunciation of a word based on its spelling , a process which is often called text-to-phoneme or grapheme -to-phoneme conversion phoneme is the term used by linguists to describe distinctive sounds in a language.
The simplest approach to text-to-phoneme conversion is the dictionary-based approach, where a large dictionary containing all the words of a language and their correct pronunciations is stored by the program. Determining the correct pronunciation of each word is a matter of looking up each word in the dictionary and replacing the spelling with the pronunciation specified in the dictionary. The other approach is rule-based, in which pronunciation rules are applied to words to determine their pronunciations based on their spellings.
Telephony Application Programming Interface - Wikipedia
This is similar to the "sounding out", or synthetic phonics , approach to learning reading. Each approach has advantages and drawbacks. The dictionary-based approach is quick and accurate, but completely fails if it is given a word which is not in its dictionary. As dictionary size grows, so too does the memory space requirements of the synthesis system. On the other hand, the rule-based approach works on any input, but the complexity of the rules grows substantially as the system takes into account irregular spellings or pronunciations.
Consider that the word "of" is very common in English, yet is the only word in which the letter "f" is pronounced [v]. As a result, nearly all speech synthesis systems use a combination of these approaches. Languages with a phonemic orthography have a very regular writing system, and the prediction of the pronunciation of words based on their spellings is quite successful. Speech synthesis systems for such languages often use the rule-based method extensively, resorting to dictionaries only for those few words, like foreign names and borrowings , whose pronunciations are not obvious from their spellings.
On the other hand, speech synthesis systems for languages like English , which have extremely irregular spelling systems, are more likely to rely on dictionaries, and to use rule-based methods only for unusual words, or words that aren't in their dictionaries. The consistent evaluation of speech synthesis systems may be difficult because of a lack of universally agreed objective evaluation criteria.
Different organizations often use different speech data. The quality of speech synthesis systems also depends on the quality of the production technique which may involve analogue or digital recording and on the facilities used to replay the speech. Evaluating speech synthesis systems has therefore often been compromised by differences between production techniques and replay facilities.
Since , however, some researchers have started to evaluate speech synthesis systems using a common speech dataset. A study in the journal Speech Communication by Amy Drahota and colleagues at the University of Portsmouth , UK , reported that listeners to voice recordings could determine, at better than chance levels, whether or not the speaker was smiling.
One of the related issues is modification of the pitch contour of the sentence, depending upon whether it is an affirmative, interrogative or exclamatory sentence. One of the techniques for pitch modification  uses discrete cosine transform in the source domain linear prediction residual. Such pitch synchronous pitch modification techniques need a priori pitch marking of the synthesis speech database using techniques such as epoch extraction using dynamic plosion index applied on the integrated linear prediction residual of the voiced regions of speech.
It included the SP Narrator speech synthesizer chip on a removable cartridge. The Narrator had 2kB of Read-Only Memory ROM , and this was utilized to store a database of generic words that could be combined to make phrases in Intellivision games. Since the Orator chip could also accept speech data from external memory, any additional words or phrases needed could be stored inside the cartridge itself. The data consisted of strings of analog-filter coefficients to modify the behavior of the chip's synthetic vocal-tract model, rather than simple digitized samples. Also released in , Software Automatic Mouth was the first commercial all-software voice synthesis program.
It was later used as the basis for Macintalk. The Apple version preferred additional hardware that contained DACs, although it could instead use the computer's one-bit audio output with the addition of much distortion if the card was not present. The audible output is extremely distorted speech when the screen is on. The Commodore 64 made use of the 64's embedded SID audio chip. The Atari ST computers were sold with "stspeech.
The first speech system integrated into an operating system that shipped in quantity was Apple Computer 's MacInTalk. This January demo required kilobytes of RAM memory. As a result, it could not run in the kilobytes of RAM the first Mac actually shipped with.
In the early s Apple expanded its capabilities offering system wide text-to-speech support. With the introduction of faster PowerPC-based computers they included higher quality voice sampling. Apple also introduced speech recognition into its systems which provided a fluid command set.
More recently, Apple has added sample-based voices. Starting as a curiosity, the speech system of Apple Macintosh has evolved into a fully supported program, PlainTalk , for people with vision problems. During Starting with VoiceOver voices feature the taking of realistic-sounding breaths between sentences, as well as improved clarity at high read rates over PlainTalk.
Mac OS X also includes say , a command-line based application that converts text to audible speech. The AppleScript Standard Additions includes a say verb that allows a script to use any of the installed voices and to control the pitch, speaking rate and modulation of the spoken text. The second operating system to feature advanced speech synthesis capabilities was AmigaOS , introduced in It featured a complete system of voice emulation for American English, with both male and female voices and "stress" indicator markers, made possible through the Amiga 's audio chipset.
AmigaOS also featured a high-level " Speak Handler ", which allowed command-line users to redirect text output to speech. Speech synthesis was occasionally used in third-party programs, particularly word processors and educational software. The synthesis software remained largely unchanged from the first AmigaOS release and Commodore eventually removed speech synthesis support from AmigaOS 2. Despite the American English phoneme limitation, an unofficial version with multilingual speech synthesis was developed. This made use of an enhanced version of the translator library which could translate a number of languages, given a set of rules for each language.
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Windows added Narrator , a text—to—speech utility for people who have visual impairment. Third-party programs such as JAWS for Windows, Window-Eyes, Non-visual Desktop Access, Supernova and System Access can perform various text-to-speech tasks such as reading text aloud from a specified website, email account, text document, the Windows clipboard, the user's keyboard typing, etc.
Not all programs can use speech synthesis directly. Third-party programs are available that can read text from the system clipboard. Microsoft Speech Server is a server-based package for voice synthesis and recognition. It is designed for network use with web applications and call centers. Speech synthesizers were offered free with the purchase of a number of cartridges and were used by many TI-written video games notable titles offered with speech during this promotion were Alpiner and Parsec. The synthesizer uses a variant of linear predictive coding and has a small in-built vocabulary.
The original intent was to release small cartridges that plugged directly into the synthesizer unit, which would increase the device's built in vocabulary. However, the success of software text-to-speech in the Terminal Emulator II cartridge cancelled that plan. Text-to-Speech TTS refers to the ability of computers to read text aloud.
A TTS Engine converts written text to a phonemic representation, then converts the phonemic representation to waveforms that can be output as sound. TTS engines with different languages, dialects and specialized vocabularies are available through third-party publishers. Version 1. Currently, there are a number of applications , plugins and gadgets that can read messages directly from an e-mail client and web pages from a web browser or Google Toolbar. Some specialized software can narrate RSS-feeds. On one hand, online RSS-narrators simplify information delivery by allowing users to listen to their favourite news sources and to convert them to podcasts.
Users can download generated audio files to portable devices, e. A growing field in Internet based TTS is web-based assistive technology , e.
It can deliver TTS functionality to anyone for reasons of accessibility, convenience, entertainment or information with access to a web browser. The non-profit project Pediaphon was created in to provide a similar web-based TTS interface to the Wikipedia. Some open-source software systems are available, such as:. With the introduction of Adobe Voco audio editing and generating software prototype slated to be part of the Adobe Creative Suite and the similarly enabled DeepMind WaveNet , a deep neural network based audio synthesis software from Google  speech synthesis is verging on being completely indistinguishable from a real human's voice.
Adobe Voco takes approximately 20 minutes of the desired target's speech and after that it can generate sound-alike voice with even phonemes that were not present in the training material. The software poses ethical concerns as it allows to steal other peoples voices and manipulate them to say anything desired.
This increases the stress on the disinformation situation coupled with the facts that. A number of markup languages have been established for the rendition of text as speech in an XML -compliant format. Although each of these was proposed as a standard, none of them have been widely adopted. Speech synthesis markup languages are distinguished from dialogue markup languages.
Speech Application Programming Interface
VoiceXML , for example, includes tags related to speech recognition, dialogue management and touchtone dialing, in addition to text-to-speech markup. Speech synthesis has long been a vital assistive technology tool and its application in this area is significant and widespread. It allows environmental barriers to be removed for people with a wide range of disabilities.
The longest application has been in the use of screen readers for people with visual impairment , but text-to-speech systems are now commonly used by people with dyslexia and other reading difficulties as well as by pre-literate children. They are also frequently employed to aid those with severe speech impairment usually through a dedicated voice output communication aid. Speech synthesis techniques are also used in entertainment productions such as games and animations.
In , Animo Limited announced the development of a software application package based on its speech synthesis software FineSpeech, explicitly geared towards customers in the entertainment industries, able to generate narration and lines of dialogue according to user specifications. Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 characters. In recent years, Text to Speech for disability and handicapped communication aids have become widely deployed in Mass Transit. Text to Speech is also finding new applications outside the disability market.
For example, speech synthesis, combined with speech recognition , allows for interaction with mobile devices via natural language processing interfaces. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. Microsoft APIs and frameworks.
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