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One of the areas in which advanced speech technology algorithms can really make a difference to people is in situations where individuals have serious difficulties in hearing or speaking. The Sheffield Speech and Hearing group has a long history of research in this area, and has devoted significant effort to developing assistive technology that is tailored to the needs of specific individuals, such as dysarthric speakers with cerebral palsy or laryngectomy patients.
My research is focused on the development of low-dimensionality speech synthesis and how to optimise real-time control for users with severe motor impairment. I’m currently working on an articulatory synthesiser (based on an acoustic waveguide model of the human vocal tract) which incorporates a novel, yet anatomically parsimonious, tongue.