IVO Software, a Polish company that develops text-to-speech software, have announced they’re making a free PDF of A Christmas Carol available for download on their site. The idea is, you take this PDF, then unleash their Expressivo text-to-speech tool on it. Sure, every actor from Patrick Stewart to Jim Dale to … well, just about anybody who’s anybody with an English accent has read the story. But now you get it in the somewhat robotic monotone of “Jennifer”, an American, synthesized voice. Jennifer has won awards and rave review, but let’s just say computer-generated speech in general can’t help pass a Turing Test yet.
If you’ve been hankering for a little artificial speech in your holiday, though, don’t pass this up. In fact, if you want to hear Dickens’ words completely mangled, try Polish and Romanian voices on the English text. And you thought you would never hear A Christmas Carol in a new light. Dickens as you’ve never heard it before.
For more holiday cheer:
Christmas Carol Mondegreens, which is what happens when you mis-hear lyrics. (Think: “See the blazing Yulbie Forest” and various things roasting on an open fire.)
If you didn’t see it last year, there’s always — through the magic of digital sampling — the Nutcracker Suite played entirely on bicycle parts.
And lastly, from the CDM forums, a very Happified Wintricated Holidation to all. Now let’s get celebratronic, at least until we make up our own holidays.