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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for March 18th, 2018

Wolfgang Rupprecht on Dennis H. Klat, Carlos Hawking and Deeklatt – Google+

Posted by jpluimers on 2018/03/18

Wow: [WayBackWolfgang Rupprecht – Google+:

Dennis H. Klatt 1938 – 1988

I knew him at MIT. He was my undergraduate thesis advisor and was a kind and gentle person. When I knew him around 1980 he was about to build the prototype for the first Klatt Talker as it was called then. He had speech samples generated by running his mathematical model of the vocal tract on a large mainframe, but no way to generate speech in real time. I remember being quite happy years later when I heard he had convinced DEC to produce it. The local Boston radio stations would sometimes use it on air when they were goofing around. The initial voice (and the only voice early on) had a bug that made it sound like a Mexican accent to most people. It wasn’t intentional and was a bit of a surprise that a vocal tract modeled from first principles would sound that way. Going with that observation and figuring it was best to advertise bugs as features, the voice was often called “Carlos”. I didn’t realize that Hawking’s voice was also based on the Klatt models (and Klatt’s own voice at that!)

Poking around Google to see what else Google had on him dredged up one more interesting tidbit. There was a character in a TV cartoon called Deeklatt that used his voice. I wonder how many people realize that Deeklatt was a play on D. Klatt. Dennis, we should all be so lucky as to leave a legacy like yours.


Posted in History, LifeHacker, science | 1 Comment »

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