Voice by Choice

blog home

Spellzone s aim is to help improve the spelling of English worldwide. The use of sound and speech technology is one of the keys to the functionality and effectiveness of our educational resource. Where would we be without this technology and more fundamentally, where would we be without the ability to speak?

Sadly many people worldwide have to rely on assistive speech technology for their day-to-day communication needs, something which most of us take for granted.

Spellzone have recently been involved in a research project called The Creative Speech Technology Network (CreST). CreST is an interdisciplinary network of contributors to the field of computer speech. It is led by Dr Alistair Edwards, University of York and Dr Christopher Newell, University of Hull.

There are four objectives for the network:

  • Support for the emergence of common languages and understandings that facilitate better communication between speech scientists and speech practitioners in the arts. Encourage the emergence of an interdisciplinary ontology for computer speech production
  • To encourage the development of partnerships and networks between speech scientists and speech practitioners in the arts that will lead to creative collaborations and further research proposals
  • To provide a platform for the development of modestly scaled prototypes and artefacts by network members.
  • To provide heightened public engagement with computer speech research through a touring show (titled Articulate) demonstrating works developed within the network, special activities for the public throughout the life of the network and an interactive website.

Barry Perks, Director at Spellzone, managed the Articulate Road Show on behalf of the CreST Network which visited four UK venues in December 2012. The fifth and final show in January 2013 also featured a ground-breaking operatic concert performed by humans and computers!

At Spellzone we hope that this research and collaboration between science and the arts continues. It will not only enhance the quality of the speech technologies that are available to our users as they improve their English spelling, but will give those without a voice the opportunity to decide how they are heard.

15 Feb 2013
blog home

"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill