IBM Extreme Blue 2013: Voice Bank project captures the human voice

A team of undergraduates working for IBM over the summer has developed a medical application for a pharmaceutical computing that records and plays back spoken words.

Josh Lind, who is studying Computer Science at Imperial College, told Computer Weekly: "This is a project that tries to solve the problem of people who have lost their voice through laryngeal cancer, where the voice box is removed." 

Many patients use a prosthesis or an electrolarynx to communicate, which result in the loss of personality in the person's voice. The technology is also expensive for the NHS.

The Voice Bank application banks a person's voice before the voice box is removed. It deconstructs spoken sentences into phonemes. The team designed and built a website that allows users to store their voice, and an Android app that will help them communicate after surgery.

In this video, Jess Evans, who is studying Business Management at Durham University and worked on the business side of the project, demonstrates how Voice Bank could be used to buy a cup of coffee.


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