Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Radio Reporter To Talk Again

Imagine being a radio reporter, but you can't use your voice...your professional instrument to practice your craft.  Not only that, but imagine going through the rest of your day without being able to say much more than ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

No ordering food at the drive through, when your phone rings, you can't answer it. Because you can’t talk.  That been the plight of Jamie Durpee for the past two years. Dupree is Washington DC correspondent for the Cox Media Group.  But since he's been afflicted with something called tongue protrusion dystonia, he can't talk.  His tongue isn't working correctly, as it pops out of his mouth when talking, causing problems for his speech.

In the meantime, his affliction has attracted the attention of people inside his company, Cox Media Group, and a new effort recently got underway at the Atlanta headquarters to see if a new high tech solution could be found to get him back on the air.

What they found was a Scottish company named CereProc, which agreed to sift through years of his archived audio, and build a voice.  According to Dupree when paired with a text-to-speech application the result is a synthesized 'voice' that sounds remarkably like him.

Does the voice sound perfect? "No. But it does sound like me," says Dupree.

When Dupree types out some words – the text-to-speech program spits them out in a new Jamie Dupree 2.0 voice.

And starting Thursday, the plan is for Dupree to again feed stories to Cox Media Group news-talk radio stations. According to Dupree he'll "be back on the air in our hourly newscasts, reporting the news from Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C."

He added, "Yes, it will probably sound robotic to some of my listeners; but for the first time in two years, I will be back on the radio.  Jamie Dupree 2.0 is here – and I couldn’t be more excited about it!"

Click Here for full story, plus sample of audio

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