Time: 2pm-3pm, November, Oct 20 Place: Room 4422, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave (34str&35str). Speaker: Raul Fernandez (IBM) Title: Expressive Text-to-Speech Synthesis: State-of-the-art and Challenges. Abstract: State-of-the-art text-to-speech (TTS) systems have reached an operating point where they're highly intelligible and produce speech that is very acceptable in transactional applications, such as those mediated by a typical Voice User Interface. This success has shifted the research focus toward systems that can achieve a higher degree of naturalness, and by extension expressiveness, in a variety of synthesis contexts. In this talk I will discuss a concatenative TTS system that produces speech according to a repertoire of expressions contained in a training database. I will first give a general introduction to the concatenative approach to synthesis, and then discuss extensions to this architecture to facilitate incorporating a variety of expressions. I will also review the limitations of this approach as a way to outline the challenges that next-generation speech synthesis systems will face. Speaker Bio: Raul Fernandez is a Research Staff Member in the Multilingual Analytics and User Technologies group at IBM's TJ Watson Research Center where he works on developing human-language technologies for speech synthesis and recognition. Prior to joining the group, he was a Research Assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, from which he received a PhD for his work on developing computational models for the automatic recognition of affect from speech. He has published papers in several journals and conferences in the areas of text-to-speech, spoken affect recognition, speech analysis, and computational prosody modeling.