NEC Introduces Technologies to Evaluate Author's Feelings from Text Data

Apr 13, 2009
Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics
The "entertaining audio and visual blogs"
The "entertaining audio and visual blogs"
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NEC Corp developed technologies to evaluate an author's feelings based on text data, carry out voice synthesis and read out the text in a voice that expresses the emotion of the author, as well as to automatically decorate characters.

The technologies are intended for use, for example, in systems that allow users to create blogs featuring automatic text decoration and voice readouts by sending information from mobile phones.

This time, NEC developed two technologies. One is the "state of mind assessment technology," which analyzes text data to assess whether the feelings expressed in the text are positive or negative. Another is the "variable voice tone synthesis technology," which uses the identified feelings to create diverse variations in the tone of synthesized voices.

The "state of mind assessment technology" can assess the author's emotions based on not only the sentences including words that express the author's feelings, such as "fun" and "frustrated," but also the sentences that don't include these words. The "reputation extraction technology", which is being developed by NEC and capable of identifying the subject of evaluation expressions in a text, such as "expensive" or "small," was applied to develop the "state of mind assessment technology."

The "variable voice tone synthesis technology" enables to synthesize smooth speech even when a variety of parameters that indicate the speaker's tone such as speed, pitch, depth and brightness are significantly changed. The voice tone is synthesized and read out based on the feelings of the author assessed by the "state of mind assessment technology."

In addition, NEC developed a system to create "entertaining audio and visual blogs." Users can create highly expressive blogs with automatically created decorative texts and a voice readout function simply by sending a voice message and a photograph by e-mail from a mobile phone.

This system carries out the following procedures to allow the users to create highly expressive blogs.

(1) With a voice recognition technology, a voice message sent from a mobile phone is converted into text data for use in a blog. (2) The author's feelings are assessed from the text using the "state of mind assessment technology." (3) Based on the assumed feeling, the tone for reading out the text, the colors and sizes of the letters and the pictographs to be inserted are automatically selected to create expressive blogs.

NEC will continue research and development, aiming for the early commercialization of those technologies. The new technologies can be used not only for posting blogs from a mobile phone but also for a variety of services that require highly expressive and entertaining content, according to the company.