Google has announced a new version of its text-to-speech system, Tacotron 2. It uses neural networks to generate human-like speech. Typically, in TTS systems, the input is complex linguistic and acoustic features. The neural networks used by Tacotron 2, however, are trained using speech examples and corresponding text transcripts.

“Generating very natural sounding speech from text (text-to-speech, TTS) has been a research goal for decades. There has been great progress in TTS research over the last few years and many individual pieces of a complete TTS system have greatly improved. Incorporating ideas from past work such as Tacotron and WaveNet, we added more improvements to end up with our new system, Tacotron 2,” the Google Brain and Machine Perception teams wrote in a post.

Twitter releases the enterprise version of the Account Activity API
Twitter is helping developers create better customer experiences by releasing the enterprise version of Account Activity API, designed for handling large amounts of data. Additionally, it is opening up an additional beta for the standard version that contains more features. It will add new features for direct messages, including read receipts, typing indicators, quick replies, welcome messages, buttons on message, custom profiles, and Customer Feedback Cards.

It will also be removing lesser used features on February 18th including location quick replies and location cards and text input quick replies.

Microsoft announces the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17063 for PC
Microsoft has announced the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17063 for PC. This adds a Timeline, which allows users to pick up where they left off after closing apps. Cortana will be able to suggest activities a user might want to resume. It also includes updates to Microsoft Edge such as support for an updated dark theme and support for reveal on navigation buttons, action buttons, buttons in the tab bar, and on lists. The new build improves the method of adding bookmarks in EPUB and PDF books in Microsoft Edge as well. A complete set of features can be found here.

JetBrains announces the release of Kotlin/Native v0.5
JetBrains has announced the release of Kotlin/Native v0.5, adding support for using Kotlin/Native code in C, Object-C APIs and Swift. It also adds support for developing using the iOS simulator and LLVM 5 support. Additional features include improvements to the workers API, the ability to produce code for WebAssembly targets in Linux and Windows hosts, and other bugfixes and improvements.