(© Iain Murray, 2006 - last update 18th April 2006)
As part of a Short-term
Research Fellowship conducted with BT in the summer of 1997, I worked
on adding emotion to their Laureate
Laureate is a concatenative synthesiser, and so works in a different
way to the DECtalk used by my HAMLET system. However, HAMLET was based
on basic knowledge about emotion in human speech, so it was logical to
apply the same ideas to Laureate in an attempt to produce emotional phrases
A three-stage process was derived to hand-craft emotional Laureate phrases:
Four emotions (anger, happiness, sadness and fear) were simulated for two
modify standard Laureate parameters
modify pitch and duration values for each phoneme in the utterance
modify the Laureate output wave file using a waveform editor
Note that Laureate is no longer in development, BT having closed their speech
synthesis research group.
The utterances below represent the final output of the emotion implementation
process above; all emotion effects are somewhat exaggerated.
Phrase 1 (Laureate + manual editing) - "You have asked me that question so many times"
Phrase 2 (Laureate + manual editing) - "The telephone has not rung at all today"
Automating the Emotion Implementation
Work on automatic implementation of emotion effects in Laureate is continuing
in Honours and MSc student projects in the Department. These have included the SweetTalker
program developed by Diane Campion and the LAERTES program developed by Justin Lynn.
Below are the same utterances produced by LAERTES - this implements some emotion effects
(fewer than those above) but the implementation is automatic rather than manual.
Phrase 1 (LAERTES) - "You have asked me that question so many times"
Phrase 2 (LAERTES) - "The telephone has not rung at all today"
Further ongoing work is continuing to improve the automatic implementation of emotion using Laureate.
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