Text to speech (TTS) is a technology that converts text into artificial speech. TTS is useful for the blind, people with reading and writing difficulties, as well as in many other applications. TTS applications are increasingly popular on mobile devices and computers.
The way TTS works is to divide text into small units, analyze grammar, semantics and pronounce each word based on the lexical database. Researchers are trying to improve the quality of TTS’s voice to sound as close as possible to natural human speech. Some key technologies include speech synthesis, emotion simulation, and natural intonation.
Some popular text to speech applications:
Google Text-to-Speech: Google’s free tool supports more than 100 languages and sounds quite natural. Users can customize speed and volume.
Amazon Polly: Amazon’s cloud TTS service with over 69 voices in 29 languages. Polly is of high quality with great ability to simulate emotions.
NaturalReader: TTS application with friendly interface, supports reading many file formats. There is a paid version with many advanced features.
Balabolka: Free TTS software with both Russian and English voices. Allows saving audio to many file formats.
Voice Dream: Book reading application for iOS and Android with advanced TTS technology. Voice Dream can read PDF, EPUB, Siri voice and voice control.
Advantages of TTS applications include: supporting people with visual impairments and reading and writing disabilities, convenience, ease of use, and time saving. However, the voice quality is still not perfect and it is difficult to simulate complex human emotions.
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Future enhancements to TTS technology include:
Enhance artificial intelligence and deep learning to improve intonation, pronunciation, and emotion in synthetic speech.
More accurately simulate phonological and phonetic elements to pronounce naturally like humans.
Supports many different languages, dialects and voices.
Integrate TTS into more smart devices and applications such as robots, cars, smart speakers.
Allows voice customization according to the user’s personal preferences.
In general, TTS technology is developing rapidly, bringing many conveniences to life. The quality of the reading voice will become more and more like a real person, helping people communicate and access information more easily. TTS applications will continue to be popular in the future across many technology areas.