January 29, 2012

Ask questions here

Use the comments on this post to ask questions which aren't already in the Q & A. I'll answer them in subsequent blog posts. Include your email, subscribe to RSS or follow to make sure you see the reply. Comments are moderator so spammers won't see your address.


zalf said...

Hello, great initiative!
But I think you can gain a lot more traction if you crowdfund your project in Kickstarter , it's a well known platform and more likely to attract a lot of eyes. Also it would be nice if you could produce a video explaining why this is an inspirational and worthy project.

See for example this case: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure

Good Luck!

James Salsman said...

Zalf, please see Question 7 in the Q & A. I was on Kickstarter recently, but a potential corporate sponsor saw that posting and started negotiating, asking me to refrain from publicizing the project until we reached an agreement. By the time they had made an offer, the Kickstarter project had expired. But the offer had strings attached which would have prevented the project from being open source. :( Also, I don't want to pay their hefty overhead. This way all the donors can know that all but the Paypal 2.3% fee is going to fund the project.

Don Smiley said...

I think your Talk Nicer project is interesting and I hope it gets off the ground. You apparently feel constrained by patents where (as I read into it) elements of speech identified as diphthongs, etc. I wondered whether, with enough samples, brute force with machine learning could do the translations without specific knowledge of speech elements.

When people submit their samples to your website, do you save the samples? If so, would you be interested in sharing the samples?

James Salsman said...

Don, the patent problems are mostly resolved. Please see Question 5 on the Q & A.

As for samples, yes, they are all publicly available. You may also be interested in Librivox and Voxforge.

Alfonso E.M. said...

Hi James!

Will SLICS work with spanish speakers?

I love this project but donating for an english-only product would be unuseful for me and my friends.


James Salsman said...


Yes, all Indo-European and tonal languages will be supported, but you will have to arrange to collect your own exemplar recordings for anything beyond the 5,000 words of English language content to be distributed with the initial release.


cwstevenson said...

Any plans to apply the technology to native English speakers learning foreign languages who have a particular regional accent they wish to develop in their new language? I see considerable opportunity in that segment as "sounding like a native" is such a highly coveted ability in the multilingual community. I realize this may be adjacent to your current objectives, but is something that might be worth considering.

Good luck and my donation is forthcoming!

James Salsman said...

cwstevenson, it will certainly be possible to use the system for accent reduction practice. The milestone plan includes features to make the system useful for learning any language, including tonal languages. But the big hurdle is collecting enough phonetic phrase transcriptions and exemplar recordings to produce sufficient practice material. I've got some ideas in the pipeline for that, including a game front end and some corporate sponsorship which might happen any day now; stay tuned. Thank you for your donation!