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."
Is everyone's favorite Thanksgiving centerpiece really to blame for the post-dinner doldrums?
- Americans kill around 45 million turkeys every year in preparation for the Thanksgiving meal, only to blame our favorite centerpiece for the following food comas.
- Rumor has it our after-dinner sleepiness results from the tryptophan found in turkey.
- However, it is the meal's overall nutritional imbalance, not just the tryptophan, that make us want to leave the dishes for tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
The famed author headed to the pond thanks to Indian philosophy.
- The famed author was heavily influenced by Indian literature, informing his decision to self-exile on Walden Pond.
- He was introduced to these texts by his good friend's father, William Emerson.
- Yoga philosophy was in America a century before any physical practices were introduced.
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