As film critic Roger Ebert, whose jaw was removed to treat cancer, wrote in 2009 about how frustrating it was to use the standard AAC device generic voice: “I sound like Robby the Robot. Eloquence and intonation are impossible.” He was tired of being ignored in conversations or coming across like “the village idiot”. He went on: “We put men on the moon, people like to say about such desires: Why can’t I have a voice of my own?” This article from The Guardian outlines an invisible problem: a lack of diversity in the voices people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices have as choices. One solution outlined in the story is the use of “Vocal ID” what the creators claim is the world’s first “voice bank”, an online platform where anyone with an internet connection can “donate” their voice by recording themselves reading aloud on to the VocaliD Voicebank. Follow the link for the full story.
This is also the (2013) TED Talk from the Founder of Vocal ID, Rupal Patel, where she outlines her original vision:
Vocal ID web site is here: https://www.vocalid.co/