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Human speech, a fad of the past.
By James Lenhart

phonetic arts

Google had originally planned to acquire one startup per month in 2010, however it’s easy to see that they’ve gone past that mark. Today’s lucky number 42, what will it be tomorrow? With all the talk about Groupon and other nonsense I’d rather not get into, it’s good to see them make wiser choices.

We’ve all fell in love with Google’s amazing speech recognition software, especially on Froyo. I can literally talk to my phone and it will dial just about anything I need it to, as well as pull up directions, start navigation, bring up websites, and slew of other options. Imagine watching your favorite sports or something live on TV and the voice you’re hearing is software generated, but not prerecorded.

Ill let that sink in for a moment….

Google has acquired Phonetic Arts, a company who specializes in making speech more intuitive and less robotic sounding. Here are a few excerpts from their site:

  • PA Commentator works by using existing lines of recorded commentary to make new, virtual lines
  • Our patented PhonemeBlending technology uses signal processing, sophisticated phonetic models and linguistic algorithms to ensure that the process is reliable and completely automatic
  • The virtual lines sound perfectly natural and are indistinguishable from the originals

Example : Commentating in sports and other live events. Two players make a play, but instead of a human commentator, a software generated voice announces the play. In the end you have multiple voice capabilities that were virtually created.  Take a look around on their website, they have several products and services. Let’s hope to “hear” about them soon.

On top of TV related uses, they’ve also been able to make game development much easier without the need to do voice overs at the end of production. Before you know it we’ll all be in our Google Chairs driving around like they did in Wall-E without the need to speak or move.


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