Welcome to Wikispeech!
"Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge."
That is the Wikimedia Movement's commitment.
Estimates show that around 775 million human beings on our planet are illiterate. Close to 300 million people of all ages have a visual impairment to some degree, and almost 40 million are completely blind. As long as Wikipedia and the Wikimedia platforms remain silent, those who cannot access the text in current form are restricted access to the sum of all knowledge. As long as they cannot access Wikipedia, we will not be able to reach our goal.
Through Wikispeech, we aim to change that. Wikispeech is a free and open text-to-speech (TTS) solution that runs on MediaWiki. Wikispeech will make the Wikimedia projects speak – for anyone, illiterate, blind, or just belonging to the quarter of the world's population who prefer learning from listening rather than reading. Wikispeech will give millions of people across the world access to free knowledge.
Wikispeech will be built into MediaWiki. That means that any reader who wishes to take part of the information can do it via Wikispeech; no extra equipment or particularly powerful devices will be needed. The Wikimedia movement strives for knowledge equity. With Wikispeech, people across the world can listen to the information on the Wikimedia platforms, on equal terms. The availability of the devices and equipment that do exist vary greatly between where in the world one lives, and what language one speaks.
In true Wikimedia fashion, volunteers will be able to improve the quality of Wikispeech. Errors and flaws can be corrected, and in the long run, new voices and languages can be added. As part of the project, tools for collecting speech data will be developed. With this data, new voices can be created. And both the tools and the data will of course be released under a free license, so that they can be used in other speech technology projects too.