Rupal Patel, Ph.D.
CEO & Founder of VocaliD INC and Professor at Northeastern University
Title: "Blurring the line between human and computer-generated speech: opportunities and challenges"
Dr. Rupal Patel is a Professor of Communication and Computer Sciences at Northeastern University and Director of the Center for Speech Science and Technology, an interdisciplinary research group that leverages AI and machine learning to identify acoustic signals in speech for diagnostic, therapeutic and prosthetic applications. She is also the founding Chief Executive Officer of VocaliD, an AI Voice company that creates synthetic voices with personality for brands that understand the power of relatable voice and individuals living with speechlessness who want to be heard in their own unique voice. Rupal is also the Founder of STEM4SocialChange, a youth leadership organization that engages youth in STEM-based initiatives that impact those with health and social challenges and AITHOS, a consortium of synthetic media organizations that promote the ethical and fair use of computer-generated media.
Computer-generated speech is becoming nearly indistinguishable from human recorded speech, especially for short-form audio content. The neural models that generate life-like speech require a fraction of the training data compared to previous concatenative and parametric methods. Moreover, combining text-to-speech and speech conversion methodologies can further blur the line between real and artificial. This talk will shed light on the shift in scientific focus from striving for human parity to protecting identity, safeguarding usage, and sometimes even introducing artifacts to convey provenance. Through a series of use cases, we will explore the opportunities and challenges in this new dawn of humanized speech technologies.