Development of the first application to translate the voice of people with speech impediments

Conveni de la UAB amb Voiceitt

The UAB, the Barcelona Education Consortium and the company Voiceitt have signed a collaboration agreement jointly to develop the Catalan and Spanish versions of the first application which directly translates the voice of people with speaking difficulties. The application is currently being tested in English.

21/09/2016

Recently, a collaboration agreement was signed between the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Barcelona ( Centre for Special Education “Pont del Dragó”) and the technological company Voiceitt with the aim of developing an application for mobiles and tablets for people with speaking difficulties, a particularised voice technology product named Talkitt.

This technology aims to help people with dysarthria, a motor speech disorder caused by a stroke, cerebral paralysis, or for other reasons. The application would help them in their autonomy, self-esteem and social inclusion.

The Centre for Special Education “Pont del Dragó”, belonging to the Barcelona Education Consortium, provides an ideal social environment in which to develop the project's objectives, given that it contains a large number of students who can test out the technology, providing sounds to the database the system needs, and monitoring the way the application is used by users.

Lecturer at the Department of English and German Studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Melissa Moyer will be leading the research and the adaptation of the protocol used for this technological application for Catalan and Spanish speakers, as well as generate the database needed for the application in these languages. With this in mind, she will be working on compiling a set of texts, phrases and words which contain all of the phonemes of these languages.

The agreement aims to create a reference centre in Catalonia and Spain in the development and distribution of information on Talkitt in Catalan and Spanish for different sectors, such as the educational, social, familial, healthcare, etc.

Voiceitt, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Centre for Special Education “Pont del Dragó” will also work together to research into the sociolinguistic impact of Talkitt for people with communication difficulties.

Attending the presentation were Jordi Escoin, Director of the Centre for Special Education “Pont del Dragó”; Mercè Massa Rincón, Manager of the Barcelona Education Consortium; Danny Weissberg, Managing Director of Technologies of Voice Interface Voiceitt; and Melissa Moyer, researcher of the Department of English and German Studies at the UAB.

 

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