As I was getting ready to write this post, I thought back to my childhood (largely spent watching TV) and some of the popular computer and robot voices of the 1960’s and 1970’s. In just a few minutes, pleasant memories of HAL-9000, B9 (Lost in Space), the original Star Trek Computer, and Rosie (from The Jetsons) all came to mind. At that time, most people expected mechanically generated speech to sound precise, clipped, and devoid of human emotion.
Fast forward many years and we now see that there are many great applications and use cases for computer-generated speech, commonly known as Text-to-Speech or TTS. Entertainment, gaming, public announcement systems, e-learning, telephony, assistive apps & devices and personal assistants are just a few starting points. Many of these applications are great fits for mobile environments where connectivity is very good but local processing power and storage are so-so at best.
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