Spoken Notifications in Smart Environments Using Croatian Language

Renato Šoić, Marin Vuković, Gordan Ježić

Speech technologies have advanced significantly in the last decade, mostly due to rise in available computing power combined with novel approaches to natural language processing. As a result, speech-enabled systems have become popular commercial products, successfully integrated with various environments. However, this can be stated for English and a few other “big” languages. From the perspective of a minority language, such as Croatian, there are many challenges ahead to achieve comparable results. In this paper, we propose a model for natural language generation and speech synthesis in a smart environment using Croatian language. The model is evaluated on 27 users to estimate the quality of user experience. The evaluation goal was to determine what users perceive to be more important - generated speech quality or grammatical correctness of the spoken content. It is shown that most users perceived grammatically correct spoken texts as being of the highest quality.