Showcasing some of the best and most innovative Scottish companies, and looking into the work being done throughout the country, last night's episode of tech TV heavyweight The Gadget Show was fantastic, and of course we're delighted to have been involved, and have our speech synthesis technology featured during the 'tech travel' segment presented by hosts Pollyanna Woodward and Jason Bradbury.
Polly and Jason popped in to CereProc's Edinburgh HQ and brought along their pal - RoboJase - to seek our help. Having been created for The Gadget Show in 2012 to take Jason’s place on the sofa while he presented the show away from the studio, RoboJase is an android that boasts an extremely realistic appearance.
Unhappy with the sound of the synthetic voice used for the robot's speech output - and keen to test the claims of our world leading advanced technology - Polly and Jason came to us to explore the possibility of creating a text-to-speech voice that sounded like the man
himself. Our challenge laid down, a bit of voice cloning got under way immediately.
Taking Polly and Jason through the stages of speech synthesis, CereProc CTO Dr. Matthew Aylett explains how - by using our core engine CereVoice - the team was able to process multiple voice over recordings and audio sound bites, essentially chopping them up into component sounds and from that creating a synthetic version of Jason's voice.
The day then took an unexpected turn...
Safe to say that Jason was a little gobsmacked. To quote his reaction, he "was floored" and considered the result to be "unbelievable!" Impressed with the voice sample and keen to put
text-to-speech (TTS) powered RoboJase to the test, he suggested we call his wife to see if she believed the synthetic voice to be that of Jason.
Guess what? She did!
RoboJase added, "that was awesome!"...And that's exactly how we feel about our Gadget Show TV appearance.
You can view the video on The Gadget Show website, but owing to the number of fantastic companies featured in the episode, we recommend you watch the entire programme when it is repeated on 5* tomorrow night (Wed Jan 9 at 8pm), or on Channel 5 on Sat Jan 12 at 12:15pm.