A British artificial intelligence company has successfully recreated the voice of Hollywood actor Val Kilmer, with astonishingly realistic results.
London-based company Sonantic has used the actor’s audio recordings throughout his career, which were fed into an artificial intelligence program to create an artificial yet realistic model.
It was made available and possible for film producers to use artificial intelligence software, which is similar to Photoshop but works with voices and voiceovers.
Kilmer underwent a tracheostomy in 2014 as part of treatment for throat cancer and his voice became difficult to recognize at the time.
But Kilmer got training that he was later able to master using the artificial intelligence tool in his personal life, to help him communicate with those around him, rather than relying on a larynx to speak as is traditionally used in such cases.
In parallel, it is now possible to easily hear the synthetic voice when Kilmer speaks but in the same tone as his real voice.
For the AI show, the Sonantic team collected the actor’s audio recordings from his movies, which have been digitally filtered to remove background noise.
The experts then wrote texts from the voice before the voice and text were put together into small chunks that could be stored on the artificial intelligence program’s computer while Kilmer trained to use it.
Fall Kilmer (Reuters)
Various sound models
In addition, the company produced more than 40 different voice models and chose the “best, highest quality and most expressive”, noting that Kilmer will be able to use the AI model in his professional and personal life.
The company’s team explained that the success of the experiment will help people with similar illnesses to function normally and easily in daily life, and it is possible for actors with similar illnesses to obtain realistic roles with the help of artificial intelligence techniques to virtual voices.
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