LOLOL: Laugh Out Loud On Laptop

Oh, Jieun and Wang, Ge

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Significant progress in the domains of speech- and singing-synthesis has enhanced communicative potential of machines. To make computers more vocallyexpressive, however, we need a deeper understanding of how nonlinguistic social signals are patterned and perceived. In this paper, we focus on laughter expressions: how a phrase of vocalized notes that we call ”laughter” may bemodeled and performed to implicate nuanced meaning imbued in the acousticsignal. In designing our model, we emphasize (1) using high-level descriptors as control parameters, (2) enabling real-time performable laughter, and (3) prioritizing expressiveness over realism. We present an interactive systemimplemented in ChucK that allows users to systematically play with the musicalingredients of laughter. A crowd sourced study on the perception of synthesized laughter showed that our model is capable of generating a range of laughter types, suggesting an exciting potential for expressive laughter synthesis.