Friday, December 11, 2009

call in sick without speaking with text to speech processor

Got laryngitis, it's painful to try to speak, but you have to call in sick to work? No problem. Just use the AT&T Labs Text-To-Speech processor. The official name for it is

Natural Voices® Text-to-Speech Demo

Here's how to convert your text to voice, to call in sick to work, without speaking:

(1) Type in your message (300 character limit).

(2) Select the voice you want to represent you:

* language (US or UK English, or Spanish, French, German)

* male or female (Crystal, Mike, Rich, Lauren, Charles, etc.)

(3) Click on Speak. A WAV file will be generated and your QuickTime audio player will play it.

(4) Adjust the volume by playing the recording a few times.

(5) Call your boss at work, and when he or someone answers, play the recording, with your computer speaker up close to the telephone receiver. Play it 2 or 3 times, to make sure the message is received.

EXAMPLE: "This is Steven Streight. I have swine flu with severe laryngitis. Painful to speak. I'm using a Text-To-Speech processor to deliver this message. I can't make it in to work today. Thank you."

I actually used this today to call in sick.

It used to be possible to type in a comment on a YouTube video, then, before posting the comment, you could click on Play Audio of Comment, and some widget would convert your message to speech.

I guess they no longer offer this service, but I used it to create an entire parody video of a Jean Baudrillard interview "Jean Baudrillard - Cultural Identity and Politics - 2002 1/8":

Streight interview Twitter - Fundamental Misgivings

Restrictions On Use Of Audio

This page is for demonstration purposes only.

See the FAQ for full policy details.

-- Audio samples are for private, non-commercial use. Publication and distribution require licensing. The restrictions are the same for non-commercial use as for commercial use.

-- Exceptions for limited private use are described in the FAQ under Usage Policy. Information about licensing and sales can be found in the FAQ under How To Buy.

-- Input text is logged. It is treated as private customer data and is handled according to AT&T's Privacy Policy. Note that AT&T will cooperate fully with law enforcement.

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