Everything you need to know about donating your voice: Why you should help The Human Voicebank Initiative

TED Blog

Rupal Patel shares at TEDWomen how she is making synthetic voices as unique as fingerprints. Here, how you can help. Rupal Patel shares how she is making synthetic voices as unique as fingerprints. Here, how you can help. Photo: Kristoffer Heacox

By Rupal Patel

At TEDWomen, I introduced the audience to VocaliD — a project aimed at designing personalized synthetic voices so that people with severe speech impairments can use a voice that fits their body and personality. This is a project that I’ve been working on for several years, along with my students and my collaborator, Dr. Tim Bunnell of Nemours AI DuPont Hospital for Children. Together, we have developed algorithms to build unique voices for those unable to speak without computer assistance.

[ted_talkteaser id=1928]We have conducted experiments to iteratively improve our techniques, which rely on combining the recipient’s vocal identity features with the speech clarity features of a matched voice donor. In early 2013, we reconnected with a young woman named Samantha, whom I had met years before…

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