Speech synthesis for conversational news contents delivery

Hiroaki Takatsu, Ishin Fukuoka, Shinya Fujie, Kazuhiko Iwata, Tetsunori Kobayashi

研究成果: Article

抄録

We have been developing a speech-based “news-delivery system”, which can transmit news contents via spoken dialogues. In such a system, a speech synthesis sub system that can flexibly adjust the prosodic features in utterances is highly vital: the system should be able to highlight spoken phrases containing noteworthy information in an article; it should also provide properly controlled pauses between utterances to facilitate user’s interactive reactions including questions. To achieve these goals, we have decided to incorporate the position of the utterance in the paragraph and the role of the utterance in the discourse structure into the bundle of features for speech synthesis. These features were found to be crucially important in fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements for the spoken utterances by the thorough investigation into the news-telling speech data uttered by a voice actress. Specifically, these features dictate the importance of information carried by spoken phrases, and hence should be effectively utilized in synthesizing prosodically adequate utterances. Based on these investigations, we devised a deep neural network-based speech synthesis model that takes as input the role and position features. In addition, we designed a neural network model that can estimate an adequate pause length between utterances. Experimental results showed that by adding these features to the input, it becomes more proper speech for information delivery. Furthermore, we confirmed that by inserting pauses properly, it becomes easier for users to ask questions during system utterances.

元の言語English
記事番号B-I65_1-15
ジャーナルTransactions of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence
34
発行部数2
DOI
出版物ステータスPublished - 2019 1 1

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Speech synthesis
Neural networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence

これを引用

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title = "Speech synthesis for conversational news contents delivery",
abstract = "We have been developing a speech-based “news-delivery system”, which can transmit news contents via spoken dialogues. In such a system, a speech synthesis sub system that can flexibly adjust the prosodic features in utterances is highly vital: the system should be able to highlight spoken phrases containing noteworthy information in an article; it should also provide properly controlled pauses between utterances to facilitate user’s interactive reactions including questions. To achieve these goals, we have decided to incorporate the position of the utterance in the paragraph and the role of the utterance in the discourse structure into the bundle of features for speech synthesis. These features were found to be crucially important in fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements for the spoken utterances by the thorough investigation into the news-telling speech data uttered by a voice actress. Specifically, these features dictate the importance of information carried by spoken phrases, and hence should be effectively utilized in synthesizing prosodically adequate utterances. Based on these investigations, we devised a deep neural network-based speech synthesis model that takes as input the role and position features. In addition, we designed a neural network model that can estimate an adequate pause length between utterances. Experimental results showed that by adding these features to the input, it becomes more proper speech for information delivery. Furthermore, we confirmed that by inserting pauses properly, it becomes easier for users to ask questions during system utterances.",
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N2 - We have been developing a speech-based “news-delivery system”, which can transmit news contents via spoken dialogues. In such a system, a speech synthesis sub system that can flexibly adjust the prosodic features in utterances is highly vital: the system should be able to highlight spoken phrases containing noteworthy information in an article; it should also provide properly controlled pauses between utterances to facilitate user’s interactive reactions including questions. To achieve these goals, we have decided to incorporate the position of the utterance in the paragraph and the role of the utterance in the discourse structure into the bundle of features for speech synthesis. These features were found to be crucially important in fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements for the spoken utterances by the thorough investigation into the news-telling speech data uttered by a voice actress. Specifically, these features dictate the importance of information carried by spoken phrases, and hence should be effectively utilized in synthesizing prosodically adequate utterances. Based on these investigations, we devised a deep neural network-based speech synthesis model that takes as input the role and position features. In addition, we designed a neural network model that can estimate an adequate pause length between utterances. Experimental results showed that by adding these features to the input, it becomes more proper speech for information delivery. Furthermore, we confirmed that by inserting pauses properly, it becomes easier for users to ask questions during system utterances.

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