Artificial voices have been around since the 1700s and have made much progress, but have been very limited until now. There is a new service hoping to help some of the millions of voice impaired people. A company, VocaliD has been set up to allow volunteers to donate their voice to help someone speak.
To create a voice, the company takes the shape of the vocal tract
from a voice donor, and the source from a recipient, who has given
something as limited as a vowel. After taking that short recording
from the recipient the team selects a donor with a similar 'filter'
and uses a computer algorithm to layer one over the other. The
process takes about ten to fifteen hours after recordings from both
donor and recipient have been completed.
It provides unique voices for those who rely on computerized devices
because they are unable to speak. The technology builds on speech
science theory and creates a hybrid voice that preserves the clarity
of the donor’s recordings while conveying as much of the recipient’s
vocal identity as possible.
Some things from the FAQ on the site - A banked voice would make it
possible to re-create your voice should you ever lose it in the
future. Your voice may also spark new discoveries and innovations in
speech technologies, biometrics, and health diagnostics. Becoming a
speech donor is simple, rewarding and even educational. All you need
to record is an Internet connection, a microphone, a quiet place,
and a computer or smartphone running the Chrome browser. You will be
asked to read or repeat short sentences that, together, cover all
the combinations of sounds that occur in the language. It takes a
few hours, but you can record at your leisure and do not need to
complete all at one sitting. LINK This year I
plan to be a donor and have my voice recorded to help the cause.