Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Big Babelfish in a Little Podcast

What if you could personalize your TV newscast every night?

If you don't like Paul Moyer and Colleen Williams together, just replace Paul with Sharon Tay. Don't worry. You won't have to listen to Sharon speak with Paul's voice — you can use her real voice. Want to make the newscast really interesting? Have Sharon speak Mandarin as a complete contrast to Colleen's English.

Not outrageous enough? What if you replace all of the talking heads with a kangaroo (sports), ostrich (weather), wombat (anchor) and koala (field reporter) and have each of them speak one of four different Aussie accents. Now that's a crazy personalized newscast.

If IBM has anything to say about it, you might just have this chance. Last week IBM filed a patent application (20060136226) for a "system and method for creating artificial TV news programs." Their abstract is nicely written; so I'll just include it here:
The present invention relates to interactive television, in particular to a method and system for creating artificial TV programs according to TV viewers' preferences and more particularly to a system and method for enabling a TV viewer to replace the newscaster of a TV news program by an artificial newscaster and to translate the newscaster's speech into the language of his choice. The present invention combines automatic speech recognition (Speech-To-Text processing), automatic machine translation, and audio-visual Text-To-Speech (TTS) synthesis techniques for automatically personalizing TV news programs.


aux2master said...

I'd like to see it make random celebrities do the news. Christopher Walken doing the nightly news would be awesome.

Although a kangaroo would be sweet as well.

dr. tv (mike vicic) said...

Why settle for one or the other when you can select a kangaroo with Christopher Walken's voice?

I would love to watch and listen to Walken and DeNiro co-anchor the evening news.

aux2master said...

It just wouldn't be the same without Walken doing his mannerisms.