Xbox Adds Speech-to-Text and Text-to-Speech Features

Xbox posted information in its June Xbox Update that focuses on newly added features for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. The Speech-to-Text and Text-to-Speech features can be used in party chat.

At Team Xbox, we believe that gaming should be inclusive, approachable, and accessible to everyone. That includes making it easy for gamers to play and communicate together. Party chat, used by gamers around the world to talk to their friends while playing, now supports converting speech into text and text into speech. Each of these features can be used to help games who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or cannot or choose not to speak.

This is a wonderful decision because it makes gaming more accessible. People who are deaf or hard of hearing will now be able to see what is said in party chat because those words are transcribed into text.

The Speech-to-Text feature, once enabled, will automatically turn all words spoken by the people in a party into text. A transcription will be displayed in an adjustable overlay on top of gameplay.

A person who uses American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary means of communication can enable the Text-to-Speech feature. The text posted will be read by a synthetic voice to the rest of the party. The Xbox June Update says that there are several voices per language that a person can choose from.

The Text-to-Speech feature will also be useful for people who are selective mutes and who do not want to use their voice in social settings. People who are nonverbal can use Text-to-Speech. It can also help autistic people (and other neurodiverse people) who may feel overwhelmed by the sensory experience of a video game and having to try and participate in verbal conversation at the same time.

Another great thing about the Text-to-Speech feature is that it can be used by transgender people who happen to dislike the sound of their voice. The ability to choose a synthetic voice can make gaming with strangers a safer, more comfortable, experience.

The Speech-to-Text feature can be useful for people (like me) who have chronic illnesses that cause exhaustion and/or pain. A person who is having difficulty typing can communicate with their party just by speaking. Pain can affect a person’s voice, so the option of using a synthetic voice could make communicating easier.

Critical Recovery Ep 26: Support

Critical Recovery Logo Amos the war priest has been trying to defend a village of agriculturally inclined goblins. The party is here to … help?

#DnD #ActualPlay #Podcast #CritRecover

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Twitch Added New Tags for Streamers

Twitch recently added more than 350 new tags  that streamers can use to show people a little bit about who they are and what they play. Many of the tags help a viewer to find their community on Twitch.

LGBTQIA+ related tags:

Androgynous, Aromantic, Asexual, Bisexual, Demisexual, Gay, Gender Variant, Genderfluid, Genderqueer, Intersex, Lesbian, LGBTQIA+, Non-binary, Pansexual, Queer, Transgender

The Transgender tag is one that got a lot of support on Twitter. It is my understanding that the Transgender tag was added after a community of people who are transgender requested that Twitch add it. The addition of that tag shows indicates that Twitch welcomes people who are transgender. That’s really important right now, as the United States and the UK (to name a few) have been creating bills and laws that are intended to take away the civil rights of transgender people.

There is an Ally tag “for streams featuring content relevant to collaborators and accomplices of fighting injustice and promoting equality”. Previously, streamers who were not LGBTQIA+ were using that tag to show support for that community. They probably meant well, but using that tag made it harder for people to find streamers who are LGBTQIA+.

Race related tags:

African American, Alaskan Native, Asian, Biracial, Black, First Nations, Hapa, Hispanic, Indigenous, Latina, Latino, Latinx, Multiracial

I noticed on Twitter that there was support for a Black tag on Twitch. My best guess is that the rest of the race related tags were also supported by people in those communities.

Neurodivergent related tags:

ADD, ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Learning Disability, Neurodivergent, Nonverbal, Tourette syndrome

It is wonderful that Twitch created an autism tag, and did not create an “Autism Community” tag. They may sound alike, but are very different. The autism tag recognizes autistic people, while the “Autism Community” tag focuses on parents, teachers, and doctors of autistic people. In short, the autism tag is supportive while the “Autism Community” tag is not.

Physical Disability related tags:

A11y, Amputee, Assistive Technology, Blind, Chronic Illness, Closed Captions, Color Blind, d/Deaf, Disabled, Disabled Veteran, Down Syndrome, Dwarfism, Hard-of-hearing. Invisible disability, Neurological Condition, Paraplegic, Quadriplegic, Visible Disability, Visually Impaired

There is a difference between A11y and Ally. The A11y tag is for streams and content featuring the accessibility community.

Mental Illness related tags:

Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality, Depression, Dissociative Disorder, Mental Health, Postpartum, Psychosis, PTSD