EU initiative leads to world’s first commercially available synthesised Irish voice
CereProc, the company behind the viral JFK Unsilenced project, has today launched the world’s first commercially available Irish language synthetic voice as part of an EU research and innovation project which aims to apply cutting edge technology to community radio.
The voice originated as part of an EU project to support the Grassroot Wavelengths Initiative, which is funded by the European Commission. With participants across Portugal, Romania and Ireland, the project aims to create a network of inclusive digital platforms, enabling the free flow of information within geographic communities. CereProc’s Text-to-Speech technology will be used by a community radio station on Bere Island in south-west Cork to generate spoken content when the station cannot be staffed by presenters, enabling the community to maintain a local radio station with relevant news supporting both English with an Irish accent, and the Irish language.
“Existing digital voices such as Alexa or Siri are dull and all very similar,” says Dr Matthew Aylett, Chief Scientific Officer at CereProc. “They are limited to generic accents and regions. It’s time for technology to support diversity rather than encourage conformity. Companies and individuals now have access to a range of personalised, human-like voices that have character and express emotion in regional accents and less resourced languages. The Irish language is key to Irish identity and our voice can be used in tandem with our Irish-accented English language voice to create a more personalised experience for the Irish market and beyond.”
This new Irish voice, based on a regional County Donegal accent, is available for use on multiple platforms, from Microsoft to Android and iOS, making it suitable for individuals for personal use or by businesses for commercial activity. It is the one of many regional accents being developed by CereProc, with the Edinburgh-based company now offering voices in over 20 different languages.
“With just a few companies threatening to dominate the bulk of our technological and online experience, it’s imperative that we embrace difference and develop technology that can be used by all. We are proud to champion less widely used languages and are committed to developing affordable synthesised voices that can accommodate regional accents from across the globe,” concludes Aylett. “The Grassroots Radio Project is fundamental to local communities and we’re pleased that our Irish voice, powered by Text-to-Speech technology, is able to help bring communities such as Bere Island together and expand the use of synthesised voices worldwide.”
The voice is available immediately from CereProc.com at no charge for personal use. The commercial price is £299.00 + VAT.
CereProc, founded in 2005, creates text-to-speech solutions for any type of application. Its core product, CereVoice, is a fast, cost-effective voice creation engine and is available on any platform, from mobile and embedded devices to desktops and servers. CereProc voices have character, making them appropriate for a far wider range of applications than traditional text-to-speech systems, including the innovative Hanson Robotics singing synthesis project. Developed by a team of speech synthesis experts, and widely regarded as the most advanced in the world, CereProc voices are changing the lives of people around the world. The company continues to innovative, supporting individuals and businesses with their Text-to-Speech needs.
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