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Humanizing text-to-speech through emotional expression in online courses

Hillaire, Garron; Iniesto, Francisco and Rienties, Bart (2019). Humanizing text-to-speech through emotional expression in online courses. Journal of Interactive Media in Education (In Press).

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This paper outlines an innovative approach to evaluate the emotional content of three online courses using the affective computing approach of prosody detection on two different text-to-speech (TTS) voices in conjunction with human raters judging the emotional content of the text. This work intends to establish the potential variation on the emotional delivery of online educational resources through the use of synthetic voice, which automatically articulates text into audio. Preliminary results from this pilot research suggest that about one out of every three sentences (35%) in a MOOC contained emotional text and two existing assistive technology voices had poor emotional alignment when reading this text. Synthetic voices were more likely to be overly negative when considering their expression as compared to the emotional content of the text they are reading, which was most frequently neutral. We also analyzed a synthetic voice for which we configured the emotional expression to align with course text, which showed promising improvements.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Authors
ISSN: 1365-893X
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Open World LearningDS-2014-077LEVERHULME The Leverhulme Trust
GO-GN phase 2#2016-3844Hewlett Foundation
Keywords: emotions; accessibility; MOOCs; Online Learning; text-to-speech
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI)
Research Group: OpenTEL
Item ID: 62258
Depositing User: Francisco Iniesto
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2019 09:01
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:55
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