Artificial intelligence (or AI) has come a long way in the past few years, even helping to make aspects of daily life easier, or even possible. We’re dedicating the blog this week to topics about AI as we continue to explore ways that technology can support patients and survivors as they manage work and cancer. One way is through voice banking.
Voice banking is a process that allows individuals to preserve their voice for future use, whether lost due to a degenerative disease or as a side effect of cancer treatment. By recording a variety of phrases and sounds, individuals can create a personalized digital voice that can be used to communicate through speech-generating devices. A recent article in The Washington Post about "voice banking" highlights how artificial intelligence is being used to improve this process. AI algorithms can now analyze a person's existing voice recordings and create a synthesized voice that is nearly indistinguishable from their natural voice.
The concept of voice banking technology is not necessarily new, but in the past it was prohibitively costly to most people due to the vast hours of human labor required, and therefore only reserved for people with money, power or influence. A famous example is in 2011 film critic Roger Ebert was able to digitally recreate his voice with computer scientists combing through hours and hours of him speaking over decades of media appearances including his own film review TV show. Another time it was used recently was to create Val Kilmer’s voice so he could be in the multi-million dollar budgeted Top Gun: Maverick (You can read more about that on our newsfeed here). However, with the assistance of AI, the technology is not only improving the quality of synthesized voices but also making the process of creating a personalized voice faster, more efficient and more affordable.
We understand the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on a person's sense of self. While voice banking may not be the right solution for everyone, it may provide some people with the tools to maintain their voice and communication at work in a way that feels authentic to them.
As we continue to explore the uses of technology, we are excited to see how AI can make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by cancer.
To read the full article on voice banking, click here. Also be sure to check out our AI Week articles: