A text-to-speech TikTok voice made by Disney that made users sound like Rocket Raccoon does not allow users to'say' words like "gay", "lesbian", or "queer". Numerous posts by users showed the feature failing to say the LGBTQ terms before it was quietly changed to allow the words. Words like "bisexual" and "transgender", were allowed by the feature. Originally, Rocket's voice would skip over the words when written normally but would be pronounced phonetically if a user wrote "qweer", for example. Attempts to make it read text that contained only the seemingly-prohibited words resulted in an error message saying that text-to-speech was not supported by the language chosen.
Instagram was clearly trying to court TikTok users when it launched its short-form video format called Reels. Now, it has introduced two features already widely popular on TikTok, perhaps in hopes that they can convert those who've been hesitating to use Reels due to their absence. One of those tools is text-to-speech, which provides a robotic voiceover for videos. When a user types in text for their videos, they'll now be able to get an auto-generated voice to read it out loud by accessing the feature living inside the Text bubble on the lower left corner of the screen. They then have to choose between the two available voice options before posting their video. While text-to-speech will make Reels more accessible, it's also popular on TikTok just because some find a robotic voice narrating their activities a funny addition to their content.
Google LLC today updated its Cloud Text-to-Speech service with new languages and voices in order to make it useful to more of its customers. Google Cloud Text-to-Speech is intended to help companies develop better conversational interfaces for the services they supply. It works by transforming written text into artificial speech that's spoken in realistic human voices. With the service, Google is targeting three main markets: voice response systems for call centers; "internet of things" products such as car infotainment systems, TVs and robots; and applications such as podcasts and audiobooks, which convert text into speech. In a blog post, Google product manager Dan Aharon said Cloud Text-to-Speech is getting 12 new languages or variants, including Czech, English (India), Filipino, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Mandarin Chinese (China), Modern Standard Arabic and Vietnamese.