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23/08/2012 - Text to speech experts CereProc set to showcase Presidential Nutbots at Turing Festival 2012

A team from text to speech (TTS) company CereProc is set to present a live demonstration of its Mitt Romney and Barack Obama chatbots - Presidential Nutbots - at this year’s Turing Festival in Edinburgh.

Nutbot picture

Designed to simulate the experience of chatting with the two presidential candidates, the Presidential Nutbots demonstration showcases CereProc's advanced speech synthesis technology through the medium of an interactive chatbot. A software program that holds semi-intelligent conversations with human users, Presidential Nutbots illustrate CereProc's ability to use audio recordings to create synthetic voices that are natural, full of expression and able to capture the tiny gestures and differences in speech delivery that identify personalities and characters.

Matthew Aylett, CTO at CereProc commented: "The Turing Festival is shaping up to be a fantastic few days and we're thrilled to be taking part in the event alongside such an impressive line up. We've enjoyed creating the voices for Presidential Nutbots, and are really pleased with the results. It will be fantastic to see the demonstration in action, and I'm sure everyone will have a lot of fun chatting with Obama and Romney. As a limited Turing test, it’ll be interesting to look at how well the chatbots simulate actual conversations with the politicians, who are typically a different breed of human!"

In what is to be part homage to father of modern computing - Alan Turing - CereProc's concept for the demonstration explores the Turing test, which assesses machinery according to artificial intelligence. Focusing on the ability of machines to communicate with humans in such a way as to be indistinguishable from a human, Presidential Nutbots will simulate the experience of holding conversations with either of the U. S. politicians, free from human intervention.

An exhibition produced with the University of Edinburgh, Presidential Nutbots will be presented to audiences as part of the Turing Festival 2012. An event named in honour of Alan Turing, the 3 day festival is set to bring global innovators and technologists together with artists, performers, scientists and entrepreneurs to debate and discuss the impact of technology on humanity and the future.

"The Turing Festival is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the capabilities of our text to speech technology to a global audience and we’re looking forward to presenting the voice software to those who hold creative and technology backgrounds alike." added CereProc CEO Paul Welham.