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Wikipedia soon to add text-to-speech option to make it more accessible for visually impaired users

Wikipedia Is Now Developing A Crowd Sourced Speech Engine With Researchers From Sweden. This New Project Comes As An Endeavor To Make The Online Encyclopedia More Accessible To Users, Particularly Visually Impaired Users.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Hina Khan | Updated on: 12 Mar 2016, 11:21:20 AM

New Delhi :

Wikipedia is now developing a crowd sourced speech engine with researchers from Sweden. This new project comes as an endeavor to make the online encyclopedia more accessible to users, particularly visually impaired users.

For this Wikipedia has partnered with KTH Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden to develop this technology called ‘speech synthesis platform’, which will enable the online encyclopedia to read content to its users.

The speech engine, which will be optimised for Wikipedia, is an open source and free for use on sites running the MediaWiki software. Researchers aim to develop the engine for Swedish, English, and Arabic by September 2017, before expanding it to the other 280 languages in which Wikipedia is available.

The researchers at KTH will rely on users to contribute to the platform’s development the same way encyclopedia has been built through its online community. According to Swedish telecommunications regulator PTS, which is financing the project, an estimated 25 percent of Wikipedia users — 125 million users per month — need or prefer speech to text.

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First Published : 12 Mar 2016, 10:47:00 AM

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