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Philip Ellis - April 2022
Val Kilmer, the star of movies such as Top Gun and Batman Forever, withdrew from the public eye following a throat cancer diagnosis and two tracheotomies which left his ability to express himself vocally severely impaired. He now speaks using a voice box. However, through a partnership with tech company Sonantic, Kilmer has been able to generate a version of his speech using artificial intelligence, based on existing footage and recordings of his voice. This breakthrough technology allowed his voice to be heard in the new Top Gun: Maverick sequel.
"We all have the capacity to be creative," Kilmer says. "We are all driven to share our deepest dreams and ideas with the world. When we think of the most talented, creative people, they speak to us in a unique way. A phrase we often hear is 'having a creative voice.' But I was struck by throat cancer. After getting treated, my voice as I knew it was taken away from me. But despite all that, I still feel I'm the exact same person, still the same creative soul. A soul that dreams ideas and stories constantly. But now I can express myself again, I can bring these dreams to you, and show you this part of myself once more. A part that was never truly gone, just hiding away."
Read more about Kilmer’s story here.
Additionally, read our blog post about using technology to help manage treatment side effects here.
Original source: www.menshealth.com