Google DeepMind gets closer to sounding human

Artificial intelligence researchers at DeepMind have created some of the most realistic sounding human-like speech, using neural networks. Dubbed WaveNet, the AI promises significant improvements to computer-generated speech, and could eventually be used in digital personal assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa. The technology generates voices by sampling real human speech from both English and Mandarin speakers. In tests, the WaveNet generated speech was found to be more realistic than other forms of text-to-speech programs but still falling short of being truly convincing. In 500 blind tests, respondents were asked to judge sample sentences on a scale of one to five (five being most realistic). WaveNet was rated 4.21 in English and 4.08 in Mandarin (actual human speech was rated 4.55 in English and 4.21 in Mandarin in…


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