Google buys speech tech firm Phonetic Arts

Cambridge-based group praised as working â??at the cutting-edge of speech synthesisâ??
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Google has acquired speech technologists Phonetic Arts, the search engine giant announced this month.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Phonetic Arts, based in Cambridge, has dedicated its research to achieving in-game speech in its purest interactive form.

Mike Cohen, manager of Google’s speech technology division, said Phonetic Arts’ researchers and engineers “work at the cutting-edge of speech synthesis, delivering technology that generates natural computer speech from small samples of recorded voice”.

Google didn’t outline how it would integrate Phonetic Arts into its business.

Cohen also spoke of how Google recently “made strides” with speech technologies and tools that apply voice input.

“For example, we launched Voice Search, Voice Input and Voice Actions for mobile phones, allowing you to speak web searches, compose emails by voice, ask your phone to play any song,” he said.

Cohen said Google was “delighted” to be investing in the UK.

“We already have a strong engineering centre in London and look forward to welcoming Phonetic Arts to the team,” he added.

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