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Advantages of Text to Speech | disadvantages of Text to Speech

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Text to Speech Conversion. It mentions benefits or advantages of Text to Speech Conversion and drawbacks or disadvantages of Text to Speech Conversion.

What is Text to Speech Conversion?

The text to speech synthesis is used to convert arbitrary input text into intelligible and natural sounding speech. Text to speech conversion is very useful hardware and software tool. It is used in many applications such as vocal monitoring system for blind people, web browser, mobile phones, PCs, Laptops and so on.

Text to Speech Conversion Block Diagram

The figure depicts the block diagram with two parts viz. natural language processing and digital signal processing. The natural language processing contains three steps viz. text analysis, phonetic analysis and prosodic analysis. The DSP techniques are used for speech synthesis. The two qualities of speech synthesis are naturalness and intelligibility. Naturalness expresses how output sounds like human speech where as intelligibility is the easiness with which output is understood.

Usually text to speech system has two parts viz. front end and back end. The front end converts raw text consisting of symbols like numbers and abbreviations into equivalent written words. This is called text normalization, pre-processing or tokenization. The front end assigns phonetic transcriptions to each word and divides and marks the text into prosodic units like phrases, clauses and sentences.

The back end part converts symbolic linguistic representation into sound. Hence this part is also known as synthesizer.

This can be used to enable text to speech conversion of many languages such as Engligh, Hindi, Gujarati etc. It benefits businesses, organizations, publishers and end users.

Text to Speech conversion software should have following general features.
• It should offer high linguistic accuracy to read out correctly.
• It should able to read out long texts with fluent and natural speakers.
• It should support multiple languages.
• It should offer highly tunable & customizable structure.
• It should be able to run on major platforms with support of Voice XML, MRCP, SAPI5

Few of the applications of text to speech conversion system are as follows.
• Speech synthesis walking device for blind.
• Automatic reading of computer screen.
• Voice operating mode in smart phones.
• Voice controlled vehicle.
• Railway and Airline announcement.
• Robotics

Benefits or advantages of Text to Speech Conversion

Following are the benefits or advantages of Text to Speech Conversion:
➨It helps to listen to class notes, text books and electronic text.
➨It facilitates education.
➨It avoids eyestrain from too much reading.
➨It helps in learning languages which you do not know.
➨It helps in preparation of speeches by hearing your work read aloud.
➨It helps in listening e-books or e-material during journey.
➨It amuses children by letting your PC read stories to them when you are busy.
➨It helps seniors or those having vision problems.
➨It can be adapted easily to say whatever users want them to say.
➨It can help in reading large paragraphs and offers range of different accents and voices.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Text to Speech Conversion

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Text to Speech Conversion:
➨The system is very time consuming as it requires huge databases and hard-coding of combination to form these words. As a result speech synthesis consumes more processing power.
➨The resulting speech is less than natural and emotionless. This is because it is impossible to get audio recordings of all possible words spoken in all the possible combinations of emotions, prosody, stress etc.
➨Pronunciation analysis from written text is a major concern.
➨It is difficult to build a perfect system.
➨Filtering background noise is a task which can even be difficult for humans to accomplish.

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