Bionic voice (pilot study) : natural speech restoration for voice impaired individuals
Sharifzadeh, Hamid; Allen, Jacqui; Sarrafzadeh, Hossein; Ardekani, Iman
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Citation:Sharifzadeh, H. R., Allen, J. E., Sarrafzadeh, A., & Ardekani, I. (2016, November). Bionic Voice (Pilot Study): Natural Speech Restoration for Voice Impaired Individuals. HiNZ (Ed.), Health Informatics New Zealand Conference (pp.238).
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3534
The human voice is the most magnificent instrument for communication, capable of expressing deep emotions, conveying oral history through generations, or of starting a war. However, those who suffer from aphonia (no voice) and dysphonia (voice disorders) are unable to make use of this critical form of communication. They are typically unable to project anything more than hoarse whispers. Epidemiologic studies of the prevalence of voice disorders in the general adult population are rare. Nevertheless, information from a number of studies suggests that one third of the population have suffered from a temporary vocal impairment at some point in their life and that voice disorders can affect any age group and either sex. In some cases, vocal change is temporary however in those treated for malignant disease or with severe trauma there may be long term disturbance of phonation. This may affect occupation, social function and quality of life. Within a speech processing framework, we have worked on a novel method to return natural voice to laryngectomised people. This method leverages on recent advances in speech synthesis to deliver aworld-first technology. As a pilot study, this project has assessed the acoustic features of laryngectomised speech and has developed required enhancement for natural speech regeneration.