New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade

Wonderful, inspiring article that uses text, photos, and audio samples to tell how a researcher remixed wordless sounds to create an artificial voice for a voiceless child.

Patel can take that sound, run it through a computer and find out all kinds of things about how that person would sound if that person could speak words. “We can determine their pitch, the loudness, the breathiness of their voice, the changes in clarity,” she says.

She then takes a recording of the voice of what she calls a “healthy donor” — for example, the voice of a child who is roughly the same age as the child she’s trying to help — and gets them to say a large number of words. So she ends up with samples of the sounds they produce when they talk. She then combines that voice with the pitch, breathiness and other characteristics of the child with the voice disorder. —NPR.