An Orlando digital publisher has adopted technology distributed by Amazon that makes the stilted robotic voices often associated with text-to-speech services sound more natural.
BlueToad, which publishes digital versions of physical publications for its clients, was recently selected as one of the first companies to use Amazon’s Polly service.
Polly translates written stories into spoken-word versions that more-closely sound like television newscasters.
The technology’s voice characteristics adapt and learn from listening to recorded human voices, adjusting its inflection, pacing and volume to more-closely reflect human speech patterns.
“The trends increasingly show that consumers are gravitating toward audio content,” said Stuart Johnson, CEO and owner of Success magazine in a release.
A demo on Success’ website offers readers a chance to listen to audio versions of stories about health, technology and leadership read by a man or woman’s voice, depending on the author’s name.
BlueToad tries to determine gender of an article’s author using census data to match that name with a likely gender.
The company has offered publishers the ability to produce audio versions of their content since 2014 but only recently started using Polly.