After losing his voice to cancer, new software is allowing Roger Ebert to "speak" through a computer by taking sounds of his own voice from his DVD commentary on 'Casablanca' and 'Citizen Kane'.
After losing his voice to cancer, new software is allowing Roger Ebert to "speak" through a computer by taking sounds of his own voice from his DVD commentary on 'Casablanca' and 'Citizen Kane'. "Nearly four years after a battle with thyroid cancer robbed him of the ability to speak, iconic film critic Roger Ebert sounded like his former self Friday during a taping of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' the show's producer said. It was no medical miracle, but rather a demonstration of new software using audio recordings of Ebert to create a synthetic voice that sounds like his own. CereProc, a company based in Edinburgh, Scotland, created the voice for him using mostly audio of Ebert's DVD commentaries on 'Citizen Kane' and 'Casablanca.' The company's technology allows Ebert to sound more natural than other 'text to speech' software — even allowing for a range of emotions. 'Roger has many years of experience in broadcasting,' said Matthew Aylett, chief technical officer for CereProc. 'Obviously we couldn't record him but he did have a lot of audio material we could use to build his voice.' The company has used the technology — which turns text typed by the user into sound — to build voices of other famous people, including former President George W. Bush on a satirical Web site. But this is the first time the company has produced a synthetic voice that sounds like the old voice of the person using it, Aylett said."
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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