Stephen Hawking's speech synthesizer now free/open software

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I’d give the nerds about a month or so before they use it to make it sing a duet with Hatsune Miku


A month? Why so pessimistic?

I give it a week before there’s a NodeJS bot dumping auto-tuned rap-battles into SoundCloud based on the hour’s top news-stories.

2 week before @jlw has it pumping out one-liners from Big Trouble in Little China.

Dollars-to-donuts it’ll be in Emacs before the day is out.


The Wired article actually says

You will need a PC running at least Windows XP—and there are no plans to bring ACAT to Macs.

The github repo for ACAT says

It is written in C# using Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 and runs on Microsoft Windows 7 or later.

Windows 7 or later does not seem to include XP.

Yeah; there are some mixed messages; but it would certainly seem to be not be solely limited to Windows XP.

Wouldn’t it be “amusing” to discover that Hawking has been running Microsoft Bob the whole time?


Do not want to rain on anybody’s parade here, but the Speech synth core (or text to speech core) , is not I repeat NOT in there, for obvious reasons, its not Intel’s, and Mr Hawkin’s voice is a unique variant of the Prose2000/DECtalk software, and probably (obviously) does not want anyone to impersonate him.


It’s a Klatt architecture system, like my DECtalk card. People have been making these things sing for decades.

Yeah I realized that a few minutes after my fail comment

How can it fail when it evokes so many happy memories?

“Terrific, a six-demon bag. Sensational. What’s in it, Egg?”

So I take it that it’s ‘free’ as in ‘speech’ not as in ‘beer’?

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