This is a project on developing text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis systems for Indian languages, improving quality of synthesis, as well as small foot print TTS integrated with disability aids and various other applications. This is a consortium based project funded by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (M CIT), Government of India involving 13 institutions and SMT, IITM being one of them. The project comprises of Phase I and Phase II. Phase I of the project used Festival-based speech synthesis for Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Marathi . Phase II of the project commenced in 2012 employing HTS based statistical speech synthesis for 13 Indian languages.
Source : https://www.iitm.ac.in/donlab/tts/
As a part of IndicTTS system, SSN college people have developed a good working TTS for Tamil. You can see the demo here – http://speech.ssn.edu.in/
IITM has released a very priliminary version of Tamil TTS as android app as open source here – https://www.iitm.ac.in/donlab/tts/androidapp.php
That too without proper license and attributions to base, open source HMM HTS systems.
But the web version is really awesome and with great human like voices.
As the entire project is funded by Government of India, I think it should be released as Free/Open Source Software.
I requested the IITM team at hema AT cse.iitm.ac.in as per https://www.iitm.ac.in/donlab/tts/contact.php to explain about the status of releasing the latest version of Tamil TTS as Free/Open Source software.
Did not get any reply.
We have the two options now.
- Improve the basic version of oepn source Tamil TTS they have released. But, need to explore the provided license to improve further and release in GPL or similar license. For this we have to do huge research on TTS and spend years again. Why do we have to reinvent the wheel?
- Ask to release the current TTS as Free/Open Source software. This seems a better as there is already a working software. Need to know whom to ask and how to ask.
Like to know that if there is any govt law says that all the software funded by public money should be released as Free/Open Source software. If so, please share the details about it.
Next is whom and how to ask for it.
Do we need to file a RTI? or need to request via any legal firm? is there any legal organization to support these kind of activities? can we get support from political party like communist to move it further?
It may be tougher to get the source as it involves more money, power, fame, policies, politics etc. But, we should ask for our rights as the TTS is made by our own money.
Share your thoughts.