bluelogo.gif (1643 bytes)

home page

Glove-Talk II: A Neural Network Interface Which Maps Gestures to Parallel Formant Speech Synthesizer Controls

Sidney Fels and Geoffrey Hinton
Department of Computer Science
University of Toronto & University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada, M5S 1A4


Glove-Talk-II is a system which translates hand gestures to speech through an adaptive interface. Hand gestures are mapped continuously to 10 control parameters of a parallel formant speech synthesizer. The mapping allows the hand to act as an artificial vocal tract that produces speech in real time. This gives an unlimited vocabulary, multiple languages in addition to direct control of fundamental frequency and volume. Currently, the best version of Glove-TalkII uses several input devices (including a Cyberglove, a Contact Glove, a polhemus sensor, and a foot-pedal), a parallel formant speech synthesizer and 3 neural networks. The gesture-to-speech task is divided into vowel and consonant production by using a gating network to weight the outputs of a vowel and a consonant neural network. The gating network and the consonant network are trained with examples from the user. The vowel network implements a fixed, user-defined relationship between hand-position and vowel sound and does not require any training examples from the user. Volume, fundamental frequency and stop consonants are produced with a fixed mapping from the input devices. One subject has trained for about 100 hours to speak intelligibly with Glove-TalkII. He passed through eight distinct stages while learning to speak. He speaks slowly with speech quality similar to a text-to-speech synthesizer but with far more natural-sounding pitch variations.

 Download [ps] [pdf]

[home page]  [publications]