Schlagworte: Speech Synthesis

Artificial Voices of Sex Robots and Love Dolls

In love and sex, the voice is a decisive factor. It not only matters what is said, but also how it is said. Pitch, volume and personal expression are important to attract and retain potential partners. The same goes for sex robots and love dolls, and is true for chatbots and virtual assistants with sexual orientation as well. If you are not working with ordinary recordings, they all need artificial voices (if you decide to use voices at all). The synthetization of voices, or speech synthesis, has been an object of interest for centuries. Today, it is mostly realized with a text-to-speech system (TTS), an automaton that interprets and reads aloud. This system refers to text which is available for instance in a knowledge base or on a website. Different procedures have been established to adjust the artificial voice. A recently published article by Oliver Bendel examines how the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) can be used for sex robots and love servants. Existing tags, attributes and values are categorized in the present context and new ones are proposed to support the purpose of the special machines. In addition, a short ethical discussion takes place. The article “SSML for Sex Robots” is part of the new Springer book “Love and Sex with Robots“.

Fig.: The artificial voices of sex robots must be specially designed

Künstliche Stimmen künstlicher Wesen

Die 2. VDI-Konferenz “Humanoide Roboter” am 5. und 6. Dezember 2017 beschäftigte sich wieder – wie die 1. VDI-Konferenz mit diesem Titel – mit “dem Menschen nachempfundenen Robotern” (Website VDI). Am 6. Dezember 2017 sprach Prof. Dr. Oliver Bendel (Hochschule für Wirtschaft FHNW) über “SSML für humanoide Serviceroboter”. Es ging darum, wie man künstliche Stimmen so manipuliert, dass sie z.B. zu Informations- und Navigationsrobotern passen. Am Rande stellte er auch Fragen aus der Ethik heraus, etwa mit Blick auf die Stimmen von Pflegerobotern. Der Postprint kann hier heruntergeladen werden. Es folgte Dr.-Ing. Hendrik Wöhrle vom DFKI mit einem Vortrag über “Eingebettete Biosignalverarbeitung und integrierte Regelung eines Ganzkörper-Exoskelettes für die Neuro-Rehabilitation”. Der Moderator, Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchner vom DFKI, ging zusammen mit dem jungen Wissenschaftler auf Fragen aus dem Publikum ein. Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André (Universität Augsburg) referierte dann zur “Personalisierung der Mensch-Roboter-Interaktion durch sozialsensitives Lernen”. Die Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer der Konferenz hatten sich an beiden Tagen interessiert an ethischen Fragestellungen gezeigt. Dem soll bei der nächsten Durchführung verstärkt Rechnung getragen werden.

Abb.: Auch Nao hat eine künstliche Stimme

The Synthetization of Human Voices

The synthetization of voices, or speech synthesis, has been an object of interest for centuries. It is mostly realized with a text-to-speech system (TTS), an automaton that interprets and reads aloud. This system refers to text available for instance on a website or in a book, or entered via popup menu on the website. Today, just a few minutes of samples are enough in order to be able to imitate a speaker convincingly in all kinds of statements. The article “The Synthetization of Human Voices” by Oliver Bendel (published on 26 July 2017) abstracts from actual products and actual technological realization. Rather, after a short historical outline of the synthetization of voices, exemplary applications of this kind of technology are gathered for promoting the development, and potential applications are discussed critically in order to be able to limit them if necessary. The ethical and legal challenges should not be underestimated, in particular with regard to informational and personal autonomy and the trustworthiness of media. The article can be viewed via rdcu.be/uvxm.

Fig.: What will we hear in the future?