TTS Still Too Mechanical
By MortazaviBlog on Dec 23, 2004
As I said earlier, it is hard to expect TTS systems not to sound mechanical.
Even when it comes to pre-recorded readings of books and articles, we will continue to prefer another human being's reading better than a machine-generated reading based on phrases and lexical parts picked out of a real human voice (as is done by the most advanced TTS systems).
Try AT&T's TTS demo to produce a TTS instance of a simple phrase like
Does the greeting sound natural or pleasing to you? How much of this type of speech can you tolerate before you decide enough is enough, even if it is stating merely common platitude and praise? Of course, when mechanical, it will always be more platitude and less praise, but it is hard to believe it could ever count as anything more than the emptiest sort of all empty platitudes.
Of course, we're encouraged to believe that this, i.e. this technological fantasy which purportedly promises greater conveniences and opportunities to interact and consume, can be real.
Of course, the world is just too complex to afford easy success of our meagre attempts to comprehend it.
Some of us will just need to seek refuge with the myths of science and technology, which are inculcated, as Chester Barnard aptly noted, for the unique purpose of perpetuating organizational cohesiveness.
This technological ideology flows not from the Star Wars variety of cosmologies, which transport our real-life from the leveling pain of our situated existence here into some unreal and imaginary context which helps create heroes of us all (that first interaction with the world, the one based on ancient Greek aesthetics of Gods as passions), but from the dry variety that seeks, forever, to replace basic human coping with mechanical life and mechanistic mis-understandings peddled in the name of science and knowing.
In closing, don't get me wrong, I'm still for robo World Cup soccer matches.
As long as our lives are not summarized into their mere appendages, machines can be fun in their failings.