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New WWW site: Demonstrations of speech-fluency aids from UCL

Dear List -

I was sent the enclosed announcement of a very interesting web-based
demonstration of speech fluency processing created by Peter Howell and
the UCL Psychology Speech Group.  As they claim, it may be the first
time that automatic processing of submitted files has been offered on
the web - an exciting trend.


------- Forwarded Message
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 13:20:39 +0000
From: stevie@psychol.ucl.ac.uk (Stevie Herbert Sackin)
Subject: new WWW site

Dear all,

We are emailing all the people we have addresses for to announce the
establishment of a new website that demonstrates processing of speech
data. The address is:


One feature of the site is that it allows anyone who is interested
to submit their own speech data for processing. There are a few
limitations which affect who will be able to use it:

1. Speech file format restictions (details are given on the site).
2. To access all facilities needs a browser which can handle frames.
3. You need a sound card if you want to hear the speech examples.
4. Uploading your files for processing takes a bit of time so be patient and
   please lay off the keys while you're waiting - we will fix this
   problem shortly.

We intend extending what is on offer as soon as we can, both in
terms of processing longer files and by offering additional forms
of processing.

At present, the only processing offered is syllabification. There is
an example where we have marked all vowels with a click and you can
hear the speech and superimposed clicks in one of the demos. Sample
data you may wish to submit can be processed in this way and results
accessed at the site. You can also hear a demonstration of one of our
early attempts at automatically marking out stuttered sections of a
child's speech. For the technically minded, what we compute are the
words spoken by the child (using DTW) and then apply an ANN classifier
to each word. In the example you hear the speech with a tone
superimposed on the bits that are thought to be dysfluent. We are in
the process of updating the software to use the new segment markers
and applying a better ANN classifier so if you are interested watch
this space. When that is released we will try and set it up so you can
try it for yourself (there's no point in letting you use the current
system at present as the new one's much better).

We are interested in comments, requests and so on concerning how we
can improve things so let us know what you think (please fill in the
questionnaire when you visit the site). Please pass this information
on to any friends and colleagues you think might also be interested.

Incidentally, we have searched around (date 10/10/96) and can't find
any other site that offers online Automatic Speech analysis facilities
over the web (we found a few where you can ftp data across for
processing but that's not the same thing at all). Granted, we're only
offering automatic syllabification at present but even so, we'd like
to claim a world record on this. If there is anyone out there who
knows that we are wrong, then perhaps they could let us know.

Finally, we would like to mention the Wellcome Trust's role in this
endeavour: Without their support, the development of the software and
opportunity of making this available on the website would not have
been possible.

In the spirit of international co-operation in our mutual endeavour in
understanding the nature of speech, particularly those concerned with
communication breakdown in children, regards to all.

Peter Howell, Kazan Glenn, Stevie Sackin and James Au-Yeung.

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