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Google Acquires Speech Technology Firm Phonetic Arts



Off Topic slightly - but with google's obvious generosity, I'm hoping
that they will be able to integrate their technology into emacspeak.

Anyway - it is promising news - here it is...
Best wishes,

David

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Google Acquires Speech Technology Firm Phonetic Arts

Google on Friday added to its arsenal of acquisitions, but it wasn't
the company's rumored purchase of Groupon. Instead, the search engine
giant has purchased Phonetic Arts, a speech synthesis company based in
England.

"Phonetic Arts' team of researchers and engineers work at the cutting
edge of speech synthesis, delivering technology that generates natural
computer speech from small samples of recorded voice," Mike Cohen,
manager of speech technology at Google, wrote in a blog post.

Google said it cannot share the specific plans it has for Phonetic
Arts just yet, but "we're confident that together we'll move a little
faster towards that Star Trek future" of interacting with computers
through speech, Cohen wrote. One focus is likely voice output, where a
computer speaks to you.

"Google Translate 'speaks' translated text in multiple languages, and
you can listen to navigation instructions as you drive—but there's
still a lot to do," Cohen said.

"There's a particular focus right now in the U.K. on technology and
innovation, and we're delighted to be deepening our investment in the
country with this acquisition," Cohen continued, referencing the
British prime minister's November blueprint for technology. "We
already have a strong engineering center in London and look forward to
welcoming Phonetic Arts to the team."

In August, Google introduced the next generation of interaction with
its Android operating system: voice-driven actions. Voice Actions for
Android include phone calls, reminder e-mails, direction search, and
music search. Chrome to Phone allows users to click on a new "mobile
phone" icon to send links, YouTube videos, and directions, to the
phone.

In March, the company also made YouTube captioning available to all.

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