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  • How people who can’t speak can sound like…themselves

    The Wall Street Journal - 02/15/2016

    Building Max a personalized voice is not only a technical issue; it also involves questions about his identity. What sounds might capture the different aspects of Max’s personality? Moreover, if Max is to have a synthesized voice, should it sound like a 16-year-old speaking, or should it sound more like who Max might become later?

    These are issues that Rupal Patel, a speech-technology professor on leave from Northeastern University, has been thinking about for years. Dr. Patel is chief executive of VocaliD, a Belmont, Mass., company that custom-builds voices for the speech-impaired. She became interested in personalizing synthetic voices, she says, after attending an assistive-technology conference where she heard a young girl and an older man conversing by means of the same synthetic voice.

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