I happen to contact call centers occasionally. For example, when I get a new internet connection at home, need an RMA or for a dozen other reasons. On many occasions, I really appreciate how hard agents try and I’m grateful for the help they provide. What stops me in my tracks though, is if they start reading a script in their most monotonous voice, which typically sets me up to just hang up and redial. The best experiences are typically when I hear empathy, confidence and curiosity in someone’s voice, indicating their willingness to work with me.
That brings me to today’s topic. Text To Speech engines, those magical pieces of software that make a computer utter words like a human would and ostensibly will make us fall in love with them, have improved dramatically over the years. We have partnered with one of the biggest providers in the area of Human Machine Interfaces, and they work tirelessly to not only improve intelligibility, but also to introduce enhancements to intonation, an almost mellifluous quality, and dare I say it, empathy into their computer voice. We are ready to extend this offer to our US English voices.
This change is free of charge to you.
For many languages we already offer this new TTS engine. In the coming weeks we will be updating the mapping between the current US English and Spanish (Mexico) voice names (they typically start with a V) to the new voices listed in the table below.
If you use one of the V-voices today we recommend that you try the new voices. If you don’t like our default mapping you may set the voice in your app to your preferred alternative. Our documentation describes how to do this for both the WebAPI and the scripting API.
You can take advantage of most of the new voices today, with the addition of Zoe and Evelyn by mid January 2017. Come March 1st, 2017, we will remap the V-voices to the new voices as per tables below.
We hope you enjoy this enhancement as much as we do.
New voices being introduced mid January, 2017.
|US English (female)||Evelyn, Zoe|
Unchanged voices: If you already configured any of the going-forward voices below you will experience no change in your service.
|US English (female)||Allison, Ava, Susan, Samantha|
|US English (male)||Tom|
|Spanish MX (female)||Paulina, Angelica|
|Spanish MX (male)||Juan|
If you use any of the voices in the left column of this table, they will be remapped to the voice in the right column. Only if you do not like our own mapping will you have to select one of the voice names in the above table
|If you are using this voice today||It will sound like this voice if you don’t make any change|