On Wednesday, March 6, 2013 6:00:48 PM UTC-5, Stephen Paul King wrote:
>  On 3/6/2013 4:18 PM, meekerdb wrote:
> On 3/6/2013 10:45 AM, John Clark wrote:
> "I just saw the movie "Beowulf", it's a pretty good movie but what is of 
> interest is the stunning advance in animation achieved by good old Moore's 
> Law. There were times when I could swear I was looking at a real human 
> being not something a computer produced. However there is something 
> puzzling, all the voices in the movie were still made by human beings. An 
> innocent might think that as video is a much higher bandwidth media than 
> audio video would be harder to simulate than audio, but apparently that is 
> not the case."
> I don't think it's that audio is harder to synthesize, I think it's just 
> that audio is a lot cheaper to produce the old fashioned way.  If you 
> wanted some really unusual audio special effects it might be cheaper to 
> synthesize them.
> Brent
> Hi Brent,
>     Nope.
>     I have it from very good authority (AT&T/Bell Labs folks) that 
> authentic sounding speech synthesis is "a bitch". The company that I am 
> working for is laboring long and hard to deal with this problem. This 
> difficulty, BTW, makes voice recognition systems hard to implement for 
> authentication purposes. The fact that humans can do it very well is very 
> telling of the ingenuity of evolutionary systems.

Yeah, synthesized speech is one of those areas where I can see how 
simulation technology can really stall indefinitely. I'm repeating myself 
here, but back in the days of my awesome Atari 800 computer, there was a 
program called S.A.M. which sounded like this: 

Now, 31 years later, we have this: 

Improvement in naturalism: Nil. It's gotten more boring if anything. S.A.M 
had more of the natural character of a computer and so was less uncanny 
sounding. Maybe there's better speech synthesis out there, but it seems 
like any real progress would be evident in any current product.


> -- 
> Onward!
> Stephen

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