CereProc’s AI-powered voice puppetry gives Sophia the Robot an even more engaging, useful and entertaining personality.
Hong Kong, San Francisco, Edinburgh, 24 April 2020:
CereProc and Hanson Robotics, two leading companies in their respective fields of technology excellence, have today announced an innovative AI collaboration project based on Sophia, Hanson Robotics’ most advanced human-like robot. Sophia, using CereProc’s singing TTS system, is known for being the first robot to sing a duet with a human on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
This collaborative AI project gives Sophia an enhanced AI-based synthetic voice, now with the ability to deliver more dramatic and entertaining performances in real-time, while also enabling her to express humor, suspense, excitement, and the odd cheeky remark.
The AI-based machine learning technology being developed by CereProc using their “Voice Puppetry” is a world first. CereProc, already renowned for delivery of synthetic voices retaining naturalness and character, will build on this expertise to allow a human speaker to use their own voice to finely control any synthetic voice. Hanson Robotics, known for creating socially intelligent machines that enrich the quality of our lives, in research, education, and entertainment, together with CereProc, will pioneer to deliver a human-centered approach to control and automate the voice synthesis.
Sophia the Robot will be showcasing this innovative AI technology at a number of high-profile media events later in 2020.
“I’m really proud of our creative collaboration between Hanson Robotics and CereProc. CereProc is a great company, well-managed with a track record of great innovations in synthetic speech. Their technology gives our robots excellent speech capabilities; the best we have found. This latest collaboration is key as it allows Hanson Robotics to create live human-like expressive performances from our robots.” stated David Hanson, Ph.D., CEO, Chairman, and Chief Creative Officer at Hanson Robotics.
The collaboration provides Sophia with the ability to produce dynamic content to enhance the user experience and will be attractive to a variety of industries including applications in healthcare, customer service agents, social robotics, filmmakers, game developers, and immersive training companies.
“For healthcare applications, for real-world social robotics, such as customer service agents, or collaborative robots, having the ability to run autonomously with text-to-speech will be transformative and make the whole experience even more life-like” added David Hanson.
The film industry could be changed forever with the use of this technology. For example, creating voice synthesis for an actor who plays one of the characters and later having a different person speaking into the microphone and to have the output being a text-to-speech voice of the actor. This technology would be very attractive to the film industry, as this would solve scheduling issues based on the actor’s availability and save on long term production costs.
“This is a game-changing moment for the speech synthesis industry and the billion-dollar Text-to-Speech market. The limitations of the technology that have challenged the major vendors for years, have been overcome,” stated Paul Welham, CEO CereProc.
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CereProc, founded in 2005, creates text-to-speech solutions for any type of application. It’s core product, CereVoice, is available on any platform, from mobile and embedded devices to desktops and servers. CereProc voices have character and emotional capability, making them appropriate for a far wider range of applications than traditional text-to-speech systems. CereProc specializes in building custom voices using Deep Neural Network technology for innovative projects such as “JFK Unsilenced” , high profile figures including film critic Roger Ebert, Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree, NFL star Steve Gleeson and customers such as Intel, Bloomberg, LG, Disney, OEBB and the Scottish government. For more information please visit: www.cereproc.com
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About Hanson Robotics
Hanson Robotics is an AI and robotics company dedicated to creating socially intelligent machines that enrich the quality of our lives. The company develops renowned robot characters, such as Sophia, the world’s first robot citizen, which serve as AI platforms for scientific research, education, healthcare, sales and service, entertainment, and other research and service applications. Hanson Robotics’ scientists, artists, roboticists, and engineers strive to bring robots to life as true friends who deeply understand and care for people and collaborate with us in pursuit of ever-greater good for all. For more information please visit www.hansonrobotics.com.
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