The University of Auckland

Project #116: Synthetic Speech for New Zealand based Emergency broadcast System

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Description:

 

Many communities in New Zealand are quite vulnerable to tsunamis and/or earthquakes.  During these disasters few people know what to do. A potential solution is a very local (LPFM) radio station that:

The system in this solution can receive text content through various channels and automatically broadcasts this as speech. This has been set up in a small Wellington community. The problem is that the text to speech system was not developed with the New Zealand context, and cannot pronounce New Zealand place names well, particularly Māori names. This creates intelligibility problems which compromises the effectiveness of the emergency broadcast. This project will in involve creating a robust prototype system which will enable emergency broadcast for a New Zealand environment, it needs to be able to operate stand-alone and be cloud/internet based. The project will involve research into embedded systems, text analysis, speech synthesis, and synthetic voice creation. It will utilise existing New Zealand English and Māori pronunciation lexicons we have already developed.

Outcome:

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Lab allocations have not been finalised