Sharing Speech Synthesis Software for Research and Education Within Low-Tech and Low-Resource Communities

Andrew R. Plummer, Mary E. Beckman


Parametric speech synthesis has played an integral role in speech research since the 1950s. However, software sharing is unwieldy, making replication of experiments difficult, creating obstacles to communication between laboratories, and hindering entry into research. This paper describes our use of the Speech Recognition Virtual Kitchen environment (www.speechkitchen.org) to develop an infrastructure for sharing synthesis software for research and education. We tested the infrastructure by using it in teaching a seminar on “the speech science of speech synthesis” to students from several of the graduate programs in linguistics at the Ohio State University. Using the virtual machines that we developed for Klatt’s formant synthesis program and Kawahara’s STRAIGHT speech analysis, modification, and synthesis system enabled the students to advance much further in their understanding of the basic principles underlying these acoustic-domain models by comparison to the students enrolled in a similar seminar that we taught previously without the virtual machines. At the same time, implementing these and two other virtual machines for the course did not live up to our expectations for the course, in ways that highlight the need to adapt both the Speech Kitchen environment and the synthesis software systems to the needs of low-tech, low-resource users.


DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1540

Cite as

Plummer, A.R., Beckman, M.E. (2016) Sharing Speech Synthesis Software for Research and Education Within Low-Tech and Low-Resource Communities. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 1618-1622.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Plummer+2016,
author={Andrew R. Plummer and Mary E. Beckman},
title={Sharing Speech Synthesis Software for Research and Education Within Low-Tech and Low-Resource Communities},
year=2016,
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},
doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1540},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1540},
pages={1618--1622}
}