VocaliD is an organisation that is seeking volunteers to contribute their voices to help build up a database for text to speech generating machines such as Stephen Hawking uses. The link is vocalid.co/voicebank# for those interested.
A friend of ours has a 6 year old daughter who uses such a device. It is important to the girl's sense of identity to have her own voice rather than that of an adult or the same voice as all the girls in her class. If a person with a speech disability can make a few seconds of vowel sound, VocaliD can match it to similar voices from volunteers and create a voice close to how the person would sound/did sound.
The recording process for volunteers is enjoyable - we read short sentences from a variety of sources including (for me at least - I can't tell you for non-Brits) useful phrases, Kipling, Little Women, The Velveteen Rabbit and The Call of the Wild. A "Periodic Table" of phonemes becomes more colourful as you read more and the databank of speech sounds builds.
I am a volunteer for them as are my wife and 7 year old daughter but I have no further connection to VocaliD and received no financial or other inducement for writing this.
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