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Activities and Seminars

Martin Cooke. The listening talker: human and algorithmic modifications of speech designed to enhance intelligibility.
 
Date: Dec 12, 2013

What: The listening talker: human and algorithmic modifications of speech designed to enhance intelligibility.

Where: BCBL auditorium


When: 12 noon


Speech output technologies — such as the synthetic voice of SIRI or live/recorded announcements at transport interchanges — are increasingly deployed in scenarios where intelligibility might be compromised by adverse conditions, and especially so for particular listeners. When human talkers speak, they also listen. As a consequence, talkers continually adapt their speech patterns as a response to the immediate context of spoken communication, where the type of interlocutor and the environment are the dominant situational factors influencing speech production. Observations of talker behaviour can motivate the design of more robust speech output algorithms. Starting with a listener-oriented categorisation of possible goals for speech modification, this talk describes recent studies of human speech modification in response to noise, and examines both spectral and temporal changes which occur in the presence of different types of masker. It goes on to demonstrate how behavioural findings have inspired new approaches to speech modification that result in very large intelligibility gains.