I wanted to see how similar I could be to HAL-9000 in my own ragged rendition of the song Daisy Bells. Turns out I actually sound better than the vague approximation of the insane artificial intelligence 2001: A Space Odyssey than either HAL’s actor Douglas Rain or my normal human voice.
Spain-based Voicemod on Wednesday unveiled its new beta product AI Voices, which touts that it uses AI to change voice while maintaining intonation, emotion and tempo. The app allows users to create a new one March of the Penguins-like narration from her colleagues waddling to the toilet in the bathroom voice of God himself (aka Morgan Freeman, the only fictional one President who would get my vote). The app also has a voice for a generic male or female, alongside fancier voices to help you sound HAL-9000 or how your speech crackles over the radio of an astronaut or airplane pilot.
Your mileage may vary for speech-to-speech audio conversion. Based on our testing, the higher quality microphone you use, the more accurate your audio will be. That’s common enough for these types of apps. Some of the voices seemed more natural than others. “Morgan” sounded slightly off, not hitting the famous narrator and actor’s perfect intonation. While they’re both fun, there’s nothing among the astronaut or pilot voices that could really convince the US Air Force or NASA that you’re coming for a sudden, unexpected landing. Still, the technology could be good for trolling your friends in voice chat or for a more effective tabletop roleplaying session.
That voice mode app is only for PC, although the company said it is working on a Mac version. The 24-hour beta trial version is available on the company’s website after filling it up an access form.
in one publication Announcing the new feature, Voicemod said the technology would be particularly useful for streamers, content creators, role-players, or even people in the trans community trying to express themselves online. The company quotes a streamer and esports coach/organizer Kairi Caitlynwho said that further development of AI voices could be beneficial for “people like me in the trans community”.
This means that the male “Bob” and female “Alice” voices are perhaps the most interesting and potentially most consequential for people trying to express their identities when appearing online. Miscellaneous startups work on it too AI technology that facilitates the trans community online. Many of these companies, including Voicemod, refer to the nebulous “Metaverse” when describing how this technology could be used to create personalized avatars. As many companies as Meta want to allow you recreate yourself In a virtual world, others would prefer to express their inner selves by creating online personas.
CEO and co-founder Jaime Bosch wrote that the technology “enables a previously impossible level of customization of audio expression online and in the Metaverse.” In a statement to Gizmodo, Bosch said they want to support the entire roster of trans, non-binary, gendered, and gender-biased users to “better empower them to build their own unique sonic identities.”
The downside of this technology is the potential for abuse. The rise of deepfake Technology has some in the politically and Technology Worlds affected, though deepfakes still have a long way to go if they want to be more effective than good old-fashioned online disinformation. These latest speech-to-speech systems probably won’t fool most people, but even Voicemod has recognized that security is an issue. Bosch said they are working on systems to determine if someone is using synthetic voice.