Speech Synthesis as a Substitute for Lost Voice
Within the HCENAT Project, University of West Bohemia and ENT (“Ear, Neck, Throat”) Clinic Motol work together on so called “speech conservation” for the patients diagnosed with severe throat cancer. These patients undergo total laryngectomy, a very radical surgical procedure removing the tumour including the larynx and vocal cords, which means that they permanently lose their ability to speak. It obviously has a very drastic psychological impact on them because apart from a very serious oncological disease their ability of social inclusion and interaction becomes extremely limited, not to mention that one’s voice is a very important part of his/her personality and cognitive apparatus. The speech conversation project allows the laryngectomy patients to record their voice in the period before the surgery and then their original voice is synthetically reconstructed within a versatile TTS system that can be embedded in a smartphone, wearable computer etc., partially returning the laryngectomy patient the ability to communicate with his/her own voice.
The patients can learn more in our information booklet (Czech only).