“Bright, self-assured, helpful voice” is how Úlfar Erlingsson describes the Icelandic computer voice he and Oddur Kjartansson would like to create for Google, RÚV reports. Twenty volunteers participate in the project this week. The new Icelandic voice will be useful once computer programs increasingly become voice operated in the future.
“We’re trying to create an Icelandic voice which could be installed in cell phones and other Google devices. We’re doing this in a similar way to what was done in the past to develop word recognition for Google phones, that is, we’re getting Icelandic volunteers to create public data.”
The first of twenty volunteers began reading yesterday. Recordings are done in RÚV’s Studio 12. Each volunteer reads for about an hour and then the voices will be mixed into one.
Úlfar and Oddur work for Google, but in their spare time, they’ve been working on developing Icelandic language technology for the company.
Úlfar believes Icelandic could be at the forefront in creating language technology for small speech communities.