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Round Table at PEVOC 2015

Some pictures from the event can be found here.

"Future Directions for the Virtual Voice"

We are organizing a Round Table within PEVOC 2015 in Florence (Italy) with a duration of 90 min moderated by Sten Ternström (Project Coordinator). The Round Table will be at 16:00-17:30 on 31st August. More info at:

  • Current approaches to simulation 15 mins. Prof. Sten Ternström, Dept of Speech, Music & Hearing, KTH Stockholm, SE There are many potential reasons for simulating the processes of human voice production, including practicable speech output from machines, solving clinical voice problems, basic voice research, and supporting teaching about the voice. The choice of simulation approach in any given context will always be informed by the application interest or by the research question. In this Round Table, we will attempt to outline the major current approaches and to gaze into the future of voice simulation. As an introduction, Sten Ternström first presents a light overview of simulation techniques that are currently being edge of research.
  • Phonetics in silico 15 mins. Dr. Scott Moisik, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, NL We still don’t understand how some linguistic and extra-linguistic sounds are made by humans. Detailed computer models of the biomechanics of the voice organ can contribute to our understanding and appreciation of the sound generator Scott Moisik will demonstrate how.
  • Machines that sing why, and how? 15 mins. Peter Pabon, Institute of Sonology, The Hague, NL As a engineering scientist with a long experience of working with singers and composers at the Institute of Sonology, Royal Conservatory, The Hague, Peter Pabon has a treasure trove of practical insights to share into things that seem to matter – and things that don’t. Simulations can be very effective in exposing what we hear in a voice.
  • Teaching about the voice 15 mins. Prof. David Howard, Dept of Electronics, University of York, UK The fact that the voice organ is hidden and hard to access has vexed pedagogues for centuries. High-fidelity simulations and the ”wow” factor seem to have a great potential as a vehicle for vocational and public outreach, as well as an educational tool. How could simulations be of use in teaching? or is the ”old way” of imitating the teacher still the best?
  • Round Table discussion (moderator: Sten Ternström) 30 mins.
    Topics in readiness:
    • Will it ever sound natural? Does it matter?
    • To whom am I talking – a machine or a human? Are there ethical aspects of artificial voices?
    • If we have an artificial ’voice engine’, who will want to teach it to talk?


Participants at this Round Table will be updated on the current state-of-the-art in voice
simulation, and will discuss potential needs and applications.