; Innovations: Apple's New TTS
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Innovations: Apple's New TTS


Under the umbrella of speech technologies, automated speech recognition has garnered the lion's share of press, even though within many applications speech synthesis, or text-to-speech, is running not so silently in the background. One particularly brilliant example of how far people have come in synthesized speech technology is the new voice and engine in Apple's new Mac OS X Leopard operating system. Leopard contains a new approach to speech synthesis in the Alex voice. Alex uses a hierarchical approach to concatenative speech synthesis, in which many aspects are motivated by psycholinguistic theory of speech perception and understanding. Since Apple has garnered a large share of the assistive technology market, it has tailored Alex for that group, who typically prefer formant synthesis over concatenated speech because it is faster.

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