BeSpoke voices: Empowering personal and social self-identity for those who rely on speech generating devices to communicate

Dr. Rupal Patel

Presenter: Dr. Rupal Patel, Speech Scientist and Technologist with over 15 years of clinical and research experience in Assistive Technology, is a tenured Professor at Northeastern University in the College of Computer and Information Science and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders where she founded and directs an interdisciplinary laboratory.

Each one of us has a unique voiceprint that conveys our personality, physical size, age, gender, race, intellectual ability and more. In the context of users who rely on assistive communication devices, while the device provides a means to express ideas and desires, the voice is that of the machine, not the user. In fact, given the lack of voice options, it is not uncommon for several students in a classroom to use the exact same voice. What is the impact on social and self-identity? Rather than reducing barriers and enhancing integration, generic uniform-sounding robotic voices draw undue attention to the user’s disability. Until now, the cost and time to build a personalized voice has been prohibitive. VocaliD’s breakthrough technology leverages years of research to create custom crafted voices by blending only 2-3 seconds of the recipient’s voice (the Vocal DNA) with recordings of a matched speaker from its crowdsourced Human Voicebank. The result is a BeSpoke voice that captures the clarity of the matched speaker but the vocal identity of the recipient so s/he can be heard through his/her own voice. VocaliD's BeSpoke voice service will launch in late 2016 and we are now taking pre-orders to enable every voice to be heard.

Event Date: 
Thursday, May 26th, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm EDT
Location Details/Address: 

Connect to the webinar online at https://ctd1.adobeconnect.com/ctd

Call-in information: 1-866-668-0721
Conference Code: 789 594 8249

Event Type: 
Cafe Event
Cafe Resources
Announcements: 
VocaliD’s breakthrough speech technology BeSpoke Voices is the focus of this webinar presented by Dr. Rupal Patel- Speech Scientist and Technologist. BeSpoke Voices leverages years of research to create custom crafted voices by blending only 2-3 seconds of the recipient’s voice (the Vocal DNA) with recordings of a matched speaker from its crowd sourced Human VoiceBank. BeSpoke voice captures the clarity of the matched speaker but the vocal identity of the recipient so s/he can be heard through his/her own voice.