Driving innovation – Maltese Speech Synthesiser

KPMG Crimsonwing’s most recent project driving innovation is the development of a speech synthesiser for the Maltese language – a first of its kind. The speech synthesiser will enable computers to produce and process spoken Maltese, which will allow a more natural interaction between the speaker and the computer, recognising keyboard and verbal input and being able to transform text into audio speech format.

This project was initiated by the Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility, and is cofinanced via an 85% grant by the European Regional Development Fund and 15% by the Maltese government. KPMG Crimsonwing won the tender for this project in February 2010 and Carmel Gafa, Head of Technology, said “We are proud to have won the tender for this challenging and interesting project. The synthesiser will make a significant difference to many Maltese speaking people who need accessible electronic media, for example partially sighted, blind, illiterate, injured and physically disabled people. It is also an honour to work with leading experts in this field, like Prof. Paul Micallef and Prof. Ray Fabri and we are making excellent progress on the project.”

The technology for speech recognition engines exists already but not for the Maltese language. Therefore, people requiring speech‐enabled technology have had to rely on alternative languages. One of the challenges with this project is the Maltese language itself, as pronunciation and grammar rules are complex.

Being EU funded, the project falls under the EU’s cohesion policy 2007‐2013 “Investing In Competitiveness For A Better Quality Of Life”.

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About KPMG Crimsonwing

KPMG Crimsonwing is an international business & IT solutions provider that supports organisations in business transformations enabled by technology. Our work focuses on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce and IT integration. Using our business and IT expertise we can help automate and transform organisations with the established business technology solutions of Microsoft, Intershop and Magento and a wide range of professional services.

KPMG Crimsonwing consists of more than 350 skilled employees, offers 24/7 support services and has a near-shore centre in Malta. Together with KPMG’s global network of member firms clients can benefit from a broad professional palette of business services, enabled by technology.