The development of the engine will be optimized for Wikipedia, and according to the announcement, they estimate that 25% of their user base will benefit from this feature immensely as it will help with users who have reading or visual impairments.
Unsurprisingly given the collaboration with a Swedish institution, the initial development will be focused on the Swedish language, according to KTH speech technology professor Joakim Gustafson. He adds, “Then we will do a basic English voice, which we expect to be quite good, given the large amount of open source linguistic resources. And finally, we will do a rudimentary Arabic voice that will be more a proof of concept.”
Wikipedia is aiming to have English, Swedish, and Arabic ready by the end of the year, before moving onto the 280 languages that the site currently supports.
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