Manipulating Speech for Quieter Announcements

Manipulating Speech for Quieter Announcements
A software system able to manipulate speech to make it easier to understand could lead to quieter broadcasts in airports and other public places.

Research has shown that when people listen to messages in loud environments, they pay the most attention to the components that are easiest to hear and use those components to decipher the rest of the message. Using this knowledge, researchers at the University of Edinburgh carried out tests to determine which components of speech are easiest for people to hear in a noisy environment. Based on this information, they then developed a mathematical computer program that enhances those components, making them stand out against the background noise. In tests, the messages altered by the software were able to be understood at a volume up to five decibels lower than current messages.

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