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Intelligent narrator reads news in multiple languages

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July 3, 2014

An example of a news article displayed in the app (Image: Dr. Wee Kuok Kwee)

An example of a news article displayed in the app (Image: Dr. Wee Kuok Kwee)

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Researchers at the Multimedia University in Malaysia have developed an app called the Intelligent Narrator to read out news articles in real-time. Supporting multiple languages, the app can automatically identify an online newspaper's language and read out the news in the same language.

"You will hear a Chinese voice, if Chinese text is written on the news website," Dr. Wee Kuok Kwee, a Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Information Science & Technology, Multimedia University, tells Gizmag. "We can modify our app to cater to the common languages of a region."

Currently the app supports Korean, Japanese, Malay, Tamil, English and Chinese. According to Kwee, it's also possible for users to hear news based on their specific interests as the app allows category-based selection.

Integrating a text-to-speech engine and an HTML text extractor, the app is designed to provide quick access to the latest news to listeners with disabilities, the visually-impaired and people who'd prefer to listen to the news while driving or otherwise engaged.

The Intelligent Narrator app currently supports Korean, Japanese, Malay, Tamil, English an...

While users can normally operate the app via a keyboard or touchscreen, users with disabilities can respond to voice commands to make their selections using a numeric keypad.

"A small 'special' numpad can be connected to the device and used in tandem with the app," explains Kwee. "This numpad has Braille indentations to make it easier for the visually-impaired to feel which button they are pressing. For example, the app will say 'Press 1 for news from The Star Online, press 2 for news from Berita Harian' etc."

Control buttons on the app allow users to stop, rewind or fast forward through news articles. Kwee and his team are currently working on the Android version of the app and plan to develop an IOS version of it next, before releasing it.

Source: Multimedia University

About the Author
Lakshmi Sandhana When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy.   All articles by Lakshmi Sandhana
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1 Comment

Can one reprogram app for normal translation from audio live feed

Awesome

Scan & hear the news from Mumbai, Hong Kong, Bangkok

Stephen N Russell
4th July, 2014 @ 09:49 am PDT
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