JFK UNSILENCED | AUDIO: 55 years after he was killed - JFK gives his final speech

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John F Kennedy pictured in 1957. Sound engineers pulled 116,777 sound units from 831 of JFK’s speeches and radio addresses to recreate his voice

The speech President Kennedy was due to give on the day he was assassinated in November 1963 has been constructed in his own voice using new technology 
55 years after he was killed, JFK gives his final speech

President John F. Kennedy can finally make the speech he never got to deliver because of his assassination — thanks to voice synthesis technology.

Kennedy was on his way to give the speech in Dallas when he was gunned down in his motorcade by Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963.

His voice — with its signature Boston accent and distinctive cadence — was forever silenced, but the 2,590 words he had planned to deliver survived.

Sound engineers from Scottish company CereProc spent two months this year synthesizing 116,777 voice samples — each 0.4 seconds long — from 831 of his speeches and radio addresses to bring the speech to life.

The eerie recording was published Friday on the website of the Times, the British newspaper that commissioned the project.

These sound units — which were split in half into units known as phones — were analyzed for pitch and energy and had to be tested next to each other to make sure they did not clash, according to the Times.

The W sound in “weapons,” for instance, is not the same as the sound in “words.”

“There are only 40 to 45 phones in English, so once you’ve got that set, you can generate any word in the English language,” said Chris Pidcock, co-founder at CereProc in Edinburgh.

“The problem is that it would not sound natural because one sound merges into the sound next to it so they’re not really independent,” he said. “You really need the sounds in the context of every other sound, and that makes the database big.”

CereProc, which specializes in text-to-voice technology, is used by companies to bring characters and products to life, and also to allow people who are losing the ability to speak due to ailments to maintain their own voice.

Pidcock recreated Roger Ebert’s voice when the late film critic had lost his speech because of cancer. That project involved scouring hundreds of hours of his commentaries from DVDs.

Recreating Kennedy’s delivery for the “JFK Unsilenced” project proved to be a more difficult challenge.

“Because of the old analog recording devices used, it appeared as if it was a different person speaking each time. Trying to harmonize the environment and manipulate the audio so that it ran together was quite difficult,” he told the paper.

“One of the things we needed to do is get a very accurate transcription of the audio so that things like ‘umms’ and ‘ehs’ could be labeled and we could make sure the phonetic pieces we got were correct,” he said.

“If you label them incorrectly, you might pick the wrong piece and the whole sentence will sound wrong.”

JFK’s 21-minute speech, which he had planned to deliver at the Dallas Trade Mart, was about the risks of populism and the importance of freedom.

“Ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city or a company, but they can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country’s security,” the speech says.

“In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason — or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.”

The Speech JFK Never Gave

JFK's 'lost' final speech recreated by sound engineers

Email John F Kennedy's 'lost' speech after assassination recreated by sound engineers Video: 

John F Kennedy's final undelivered speech recreated (ABC News) Sound engineers have managed to construct the speech former US president John F Kennedy was about to make before he was assassinated in 1963. Key points:

Sound engineers looked at John F Kennedy's pitch and energy in past soundbites to reproduce the lost speech JFK was to make the speech the same day he was assassinated He planned to use the speech to talk about America's strength According to British newspaper The Times, engineers managed to pull 116,777 sound units from 831 of JFK's speeches and radio addresses to bring the text to life.The digitally-created speech, known as the Trade Mart speech, was originally due to be made on 22 November 1963 before the 35th president of the US was shot dead.It was recreated as part of The Times' "JFK: Unsilenced" project. JFK was riding in a motorcade in Dallas and had been preparing for the next presidential campaign when he was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.JFK was to address an annual meeting of the Dallas Citizens Council. Photo: John F Kennedy addresses joint session of congress two years before he was killed. (NASA: John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum) The Times teamed up with text-to-speech developer CereProc and Irish company Rothco and recreated JFK's voice reading the 2,590-word speech by analysing past speeches. To make the speech more lifelike, the developer focused on pitch and energy from his previous soundbites.It took eight weeks for the speech to be reproduced.BBC reports lead voice engineer Chris Pidcock told Radio Scotland they used artificial intelligence to determine how his pitch changed when delivering past speeches."That was a big part of the project because we didn't want his intonation to be a boring and standard intonation," he said."We took his existing speeches and material and we cut it up into tiny pieces and stitched it back together in a new speech."JFK had a really unique speaking style and getting his intonation correct was something that we had to spend some time on." Photo: Former US president, John F Kennedy, photographed in 1963. (John F Kennedy Library) JFK talks about America's world standing, security In the 20-minute speech he never got to make, JFK talked about the country's strength and security. "For this nation's strength and security are not easily or cheaply obtained, nor are they quickly and simply explained," he said."There are many kinds of strength and no one kind will suffer."Overwhelming nuclear strength cannot stop a guerrilla war. Formal pacts of alliance cannot stop internal subversion. Displays of material wealth cannot stop the disillusionment of diplomats subjected to discrimination."Above all, words are not enough. The United States is a peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If w



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