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Press Release

Tuesday November 21, 9:47 am Eastern Time

SOURCE: AT&T Labs

AT&T Labs Technology Makes Computers Talk in 'Red Planet'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- We're six weeks away from 2001 and still no flying cars. But thanks to AT&T Labs, computers are really talking. You can see for yourself in ``Red Planet,'' the new Warner Brothers movie that opened everywhere on November 10.

``Red Planet'' is about a mission to Mars in the year 2050. In this vision of life half a century from now, spaceship computers -- and even space suits -- talk.

``It shows you how far technology has come that the producers didn't need special effects to give computers their voices. They had a real, working, system from AT&T Labs, '' said Juergen Schroeter, Division Manager, Speech Processing Software & Technology, AT&T Labs.

Lucille, the on-board computer in the movie's Mars I spaceship, speaks using the latest female voice from AT&T Labs text-to-speech system. The crew's space suits speak using the latest male voice from the system.

AT&T Labs' system is different than others because of the life-like nature of its speech. Researchers created large speech databases recorded from human talkers. The synthetic speech has a close-to-natural quality. AT&T Labs has been a leader in speech technology for more than 30 years. ``We think speech technology is strategically important to AT&T,'' said Schroeter. ``As devices continue to shrink, people will be using their voices to dial wireless phones, ask questions of information systems and surf the Internet. And maybe even talk to their space suits.''

You can try the AT&T Labs text-to-speech technology by visiting http://www.research.att.com/projects/tts.