DAISY Consortium's News Brief - # 2017-07a
Enjoy a concise selection of digital publishing news. Our main goal is to inform DAISY Members and Supporters about new e-reading technologies and related developments.

Webinar: What's Happening With Digital Books at W3C?

The Book industry Study Group Webinar will cover the future of digital publishing at W3C. When? Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 11:00 am - 12 pm MDT. Register online.

What's New: Notable Articles and Media

Acapela DNN: Innovative Voice Creation

Neural Networks are a set of algorithms, modeled loosely after the human brain. They are designed to recognize patterns. These networks interpret sensory data through machine perception, labeling and organizing raw input. Neural networks extract features that are fed to other algorithms.

Acapela Group is actively working on Deep Neural Networks (DNN). Their Research and Development Lab has developed Acapela DNN, an engine capable of creating a voice using a limited amount of existing or new speech recordings.

“Acapela DNN represents ‘Acapela’s ultimate talking machine’, benefiting from our speech expertise and learning from our vast voice and language databases to model voice identities and reproduce speech, in many languages.

We need only one week to release a new voice based on a few minutes of speech recordings”, said Vincent Pagel, R&D and Linguistic Group Manager, Acapela Group.

While synthetic voice creation was previously based on audio materials recorded by a professional voice actor, in a professional studio, under the supervision of a linguistic expert, Acapela can now create a voice with an average of 10-15 minutes of clean audio recordings and the associated text transcription of the audio samples.

Obviously, the more data there is, the more the DNN can learn from specific habits and create a voice that matches the original.

Acapela have worked on voice recordings of well-known people and also created voices for individuals who cannot speak correctly any more due to surgery or disease.

Voice samples are available on the Acapela Group website.

Better Together: Collaborative Learning in the Hague

If specialists and experts tap into their combined potential, they can produce something that's greater than the sum of the parts. This was Dedicon's inspiration and goal for the ‘BetterTogether Conference' that took place in the Hague on June 28th, 2017.


Over 1,000 people came together to discuss how technology can contribute to practical solutions for people with visual impairments. Keynote speakers were from Microsoft, Google, Canon/Océ, DAISY and other organizations.


If you are interested in presentations, please visit http://bettertogether.dedicon.nl/programme and click on speaker's name. Photos and a video montage of the day are also available.