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Thanks To Artificial Intelligence, Radio Journalist Regains His Voice

The AI system slices each word read out by an individual into 100 tiny pieces

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AI scenarios present ethical issues ranging from privacy, human rights, employment or other social issues.
AI scenarios present ethical issues ranging from privacy, human rights, employment or other social issues. Pixabay
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A US radio journalist who had lost his voice two years ago due to a rare neurological condition has regained the ability to speak, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), the media reported.

Jamie Dupree, 54, a political radio journalist with Cox Media Group, got a new voice that trained a neural network to predict how he would talk, using samples from his old voice recordings, the BBC reported.

With his new voice, Dupree can now write a script and then use a free text-to-speech software programme called Balabolka on his laptop to turn it into an audio recording.

If a word or turn of phrase does not sound quite right in the recording, he can slow certain consonants or vowels down, or swap a word to one that does work, or change the pitch, and he can have a full radio story ready to go live in just seven minutes.

“This has saved my job and saved my family from a terrible financial unknown,” Dupree was quoted as saying to the BBC.

In 2016, Dupree was diagnosed with tongue protrusion dystonia — a rare neurological condition where the tongue pushes forward out of his mouth and his throat tightens whenever he wants to speak, making it impossible for him to say more than two or three words at a time.

artificial intelligence, brain
artificial intelligence, brain, Pixabay

Thanks to the new computer-generated voice, created for him by Scottish technology company CereProc, Dupree is set to come back on air, the report said.

The AI system slices each word read out by an individual into 100 tiny pieces, and does this with lots of common words until eventually it understands how basic phonetics work in that person’s voice and has an ordered sequence for all the pieces in each word.

Then, the neural network can create its own sounds and predict what the person would sound like if they were to say a series of words in conversation.

Also read: This Way China Can Help India In The Terms of Artificial Intelligence

“AI techniques work quite well on small constrained problems, and learning to model speech is something deep neural nets can do really well,” Chris Pidcock, CereProc’s chief technical officer and co-founder, told the BBC. (IANS)

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BlackBerry Unveils its EoT Platform ‘BlackBerry Spark’

The platform would facilitate consumer-friendly interfaces to complex processes and AI, such as voice-activated speakers with privacy protection.

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BlackBerry, Hyperconnectivity
'BlackBerry Spark' EoT platform unveiled. Pixabay

BlackBerry on Thursday unveiled its Enterprise of Things (EoT) platform “BlackBerry Spark”, which is designed and built to establish end-to-end, ultra-secure hyperconnectivity.

The EoT platform would be available by the end of 2018.

Hyperconnectivity is a person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organisations and societies.

bLACKBERRY, hyperconnectivity
BlackBerry Spark” would enable organisations to comply with stringent multi-national regulatory requirements Flickr

 

“BlackBerry Spark” would enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to make complex machineries, help enterprises to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and manage smart “things” and allow people to use and trust any hyperconnected “thing” by making military-grade security easy and intuitive to use.

“By combining hyperconnectivity with ultra-security and privacy, ‘BlackBerry Spark’ is the indispensable component of a paradigm shift to ‘things-first’ which holds even greater potential to reshape society,” John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry, said in a statement.

The platform would facilitate consumer-friendly interfaces to complex processes and AI, such as voice-activated speakers with privacy protection.

blackberry, hyperconnectivity
The EoT platform would be available by the end of 2018. IANS

“The ultimate outcome of this inevitable convergence of ubiquitous mobility and computing power will likely turn on the cybersecurity decisions we make collectively over the next few years,” Chen added.

Also Read: BlackBerry Launches 2 New Smartphones

“BlackBerry Spark” would also enable organisations to comply with stringent multi-national regulatory requirements and would be compatible with both iOS and Android. (IANS)