What Is Text To Speech Technology and How Does It Work

Text-to-Speech (TTS) | Reading RocketsText-to-speech technology is a subcategory of machine translation technology that does exactly what its name implies- it translates speech into text using AI technology. In the last two years, text-to-speech software and apps have developed rapidly, providing easy and affordable translation services for commercial and consumer use.

This technology has applications in many fields, including government, education, defence, manufacturing industries, and much more. If you’re unfamiliar with text-to-speech technology and want to know more about it, here’s a compact rundown of how it works and how it’s helping transform lives and industries.

What is Text-to-Speech Technology

Text-to-speech technology is an assistive technology that allows digital text to be transmitted in digital voice using AI technology. Software and apps created using text-to-speech technology are universally compatible with almost all common digital devices, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. This has allowed for the technology’s mass adoption in a very short time.

The voice reading out the text is usually AI-generated, and controls for it, such as speeding up or slowing down the reading speed, can be easily done from the software or app settings. The voices themselves can be customised as well, starting from adult voices to children’s voices with different pitches and tones, showcasing the power of modern AI-assisted technology.

How Does Text-to-Speech Technology Work?

With the definition cleared up, now take a look at how this technology works to have a better understanding of it.

Text Analysis

The first thing that a text-to-speech software does is analyse the text that it has been instructed to read out. It usually accomplishes this by matching the text with its proprietary database or the internet. Once it has dissected the text by individual words, phrases, and sentences, the software or app then moves to the next stage of the process which is linguistic processing.

Linguistic Processing

In this stage of the translation process, the software or app critically analyses the word beneath its certain level identification and definition to find out a nuanced interpretation of the text, breaking down the grammar structure, and format of the text. This allows the software the determine how the processed text should be spoken aloud so sounds as human-like as possible.

Voice Synthesis

With the foundation of the vocal output established, the software now synthesises the voice for the final output based on the default or customised settings. Before AI became mainstream at the end of 2022, the voice synthesis part was accomplished with prerecorded human voices which took the longest to assemble. Thanks to generative technology, voice synthesis has become more streamlined, providing faster and more impressive results.

Speech Rendering

The last and final part of the working process of text-to-speech machine translation technology is speech rendering. At this point, the software or app reads aloud the translated text in the chosen language using appropriate anticipation, tone, and pace.

Advantages of Text-to-Speech Technology

Here are a couple of the most common advantages of using text-to-speed technology:

Highly Accessible

The price point for text-to-speech technology is very affordable, both for business enterprises as well as individual customers. There is a wide variety of text-to-speech SAAS services out there, and if you’re not from an English-speaking country, no worries. Almost all technologically sufficient countries have text-to-speech apps or software in their native language, making this technology highly accessible.

Helpful in Learning New Languages

Text-to-speech technology is often not limited to translating only one language. For example, you can type in a French word to have the software or app read it aloud in English so that you can learn the meaning of the words. Or you can have it read it out loud as per the native text to learn how the word is pronounced correctly. Thanks to these options, text-to-speech technology has made the process of learning new languages much easier and faster.

Helps Improve Productivity

Whether you’re a businessman, student, or front desk receptionist, text-to-speech technology can greatly enhance your productivity. This leaves you more time to learn or do new things or focus on other more important aspects of your work. In fact, text-to-speech tools are often considered one of the best multi-tasking tools in today’s digital world.

Enhances the End User Experience

If you’re a business then ensuring that your customers get the best customer service possible is crucial in establishing your brand in both the short and long run. Whether it’s customer service or dealing with a foreign business delegate, text-to-speech technology helps streamline communication gaps quickly and efficiently, allowing for enhanced end-user experience.

Helps People With Eyesight Disabilities

While audiobooks and podcasts have greatly improved the accessibility of audiobooks for visually impaired readers, not every book in the world is available in audiobook format. This includes many technical books, all of which are only available in digital text formats such as PDF files. By using text-to-speech technology, visually impaired individuals can easily read these eBooks that are not available in audiobook format.

Final Thoughts

Text-to-speech is one of the many aspects of machine translation technology that has been helping businesses, government organizations, and educational institutions streamline workflows and become more efficient. If you have been on the fence about this technology, you should consider implementing it in your everyday life to make things easier for you, no matter your profession. If you are a developer, you can also look out for iFLYTEK’s text-to-speech API to integrate with your systems.

About Richard Roberts

Tom Roberts: Tom, a gadget enthusiast, provides detailed reviews of the latest tech gadgets, smartphones, and consumer electronics.

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