Dialing a number on the phone connects to a computer version of my voice. The voice was created by my good friends at Cereproc who are world leaders in this field. The method requires me to create recording of many hours of specific sample sentences from which all the sounds required for the production of intelligible speech using my voice can be extracted. The TTS Text to Speech Synthesis[1] technology then has to search for the right sounds and assemble them into words and sentences. It produces a slightly unreal version of my natural speaking voice. It certainly sounds like me but the emotion is largely gone and the inflection may sound rather false. Most clearly it doesn’t understand what it is saying. This is a limitation of all TTS systems at present. While it is possible to create a decent human like effect using a machine the machine has no awareness of the meaning of the words it is delivering. This can result in small silly mistakes or more serious chunks of unintelligibility but it always results in unbelievability, it simply isn’t a credible person speaking, hence so far at least, TTS has not caught on for audio books. In theory any text can be passed to it programmatically and it will attempt to render it in my voice.[2] In addition to the computer voice, recordings of my real voice are used, some subject to significant digital signal processing to produce weird and wonderful effects. Finally, and only for specific scheduled performances, unbeknown to the user, my live voice can be added to the mix.

[1] The voice was created by Cereproc. Cereproc (2018) Welcome to CereProc | CereProc Text-to-Speech. Available online: https://www.cereproc.com/ [Accessed.

[2] These dynamic capabilities are not exploited in the installation yet.

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