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Google acquires Phonetic Arts

Search giant "excited" about the speech synthesis company's technology

Google has acquired Cambridge-based Phonetic Arts in a bid to improve its range of speech-based services.

Terms were not disclosed for the deal, and neither were specific plans for the future revealed in a short blog post by Mike Cohen, the search giant's manager of Speech Technology.

However, he did hint that the primary reasoning behind the acquisition revolved around making improvements to the output of the company's speech services, and that he was "excited" by the technology being used.

"Phonetic Arts' team of researchers and engineers work at the cutting edge of speech synthesis, delivering technology that generates natural computer speech from small samples of recorded voice," he wrote. "There's a particular focus right now in the UK on technology and innovation, and we're delighted to be deepening our investment in the country with this acquisition.

"We already have a strong engineering center in London and look forward to welcoming Phonetic Arts to the team. We are excited about their technology, and while we don't have plans to share yet, we're confident that together we'll move a little faster towards that Star Trek future," he added.

Phonetic Arts was founded in 2006, and has since worked on key titles from Ninja Theory, EA Sports, The Creative Assembly and Bethesda Softworks. The founding CEO, Paul Taylor, sold previous business Rhetorical Systems to Nuance in 2004.

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