New Voices for the Voiceless on

Over the weekend I shot some photos for a story on NPR about synthetic speech. This morning I was delighted to find the photo lead on the NPR homepage!

17-year-old Samantha Grimaldo was born without a voice, and relies on sign language and ipad and iphone apps to communicate. With the iphone app she uses, there are three voices to choose from, with only one being female. Fortunately, a speech scientist at Northeastern University, Rupal Patel, has been developing individuated synthetic voices for people like Samantha. Click on the image below to see photos of Samantha, and listen to the complete story on

Synthetic Speech