The idea of a machine that talks to you intelligently might be a ways off still, but Instructables user MisterM wanted to make a radio that would announce general details throughout the day. To do this, he wired up a Raspberry Pi Zero to a text-to-speech engine, then tossed in a dose of If This Then That.
The idea here is simple: at certain points of the day, the radio "speaks" email subject lines out loud. Using different IFTTT recipes, MisterM created triggers to send various facts, like tomorrow's weather, notifications for social networks, and more to a Gmail account.
When an email arrives, the Pi uses its text-to-speech engine to speak it out loud. It's a clever workaround to create verbal notifications for just about anything IFTTT supports. Even better, the whole thing is jammed into a 1940s radio case, so it's a good looking little machine to boot. Head over to Instructables for the full guide.
Pi Zero Talking Radio [Instructables]