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Definition: text-to-speech

Converting text into voice output using speech synthesis techniques. Although initially used by the blind to listen to written material, it is now used extensively to convey financial data, email messages and other information via telephone for everyone. Text-to-speech is also used on handheld devices such as portable GPS units to announce street names when giving directions.

Early text-to-speech (TTS) systems had a very robotic sound; however, with the advent of high-speed chips and advanced software techniques, text-to-speech has become much more natural. See screen reader.