In a world first, Montreal-based startup Lyrebird today unveiled a voice-imitation algorithm that can mimic a person’s voice and have it read any text with a given emotion, based on the analysis of just a few dozen seconds of audio recording.
With this innovation, Lyrebird is going a step further in the development of AI applications by offering to companies and developers new speech synthesis solutions. Users will be able to generate entire dialogs with the voice of their choice or design from scratch completely new and unique voices tailored for their needs.
On the website lyrebird.ai, samples using the voices of Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton illustrate the accuracy and effectiveness of the technology. Suited to a wide range of applications, it can be used for personal assistants, for reading of audio books with famous voices, for connected devices of any kind, for speech synthesis for people with disabilities, for animation movies or for video game studios.
Lyrebird relies on deep learning models developed at the MILA lab of the University of Montréal, where its three founders are currently PhD students: Alexandre de Brébisson, Jose Sotelo and Kundan Kumar. The startup is advised by three of the most prolific professors in the field: Pascal Vincent, Aaron Courville and Yoshua Bengio. The latter, director of the MILA and AI pioneer, wants to make Montréal a world-capital of artificial intelligence and this new startup is part of this vision.
Terminator and Terminator 2 movies had Arnold and T-1000 mimic people
Here is a list of times various Terminators mimic people in the Terminator movies and TV show.
Sarah Connor’s mother lived in Redlands, California. On May 14, 1984, she was killed at a cabin in Big Bear, California by the Terminator that was hunting Sarah. The Terminator mimicked her voice to find out that Sarah was staying at the Tiki Motel.
The T-800 did a vocal impersonation of a police officer (L119) during pursuing Sarah Connor.
The T-800 did a vocal impersonation of John Connor while talking on the phone to the T-1000, who was simultaneously impersonating Janelle Voight. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The T-RIP impersonated Kyle Reese’s voice in order to draw out John Connor. Terminator Salvation
Cromartie used Sarah Connor’s vocal impersonations on the phone. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot episode
Cameron used John Connor’s vocal impersonations to fool Cromartie, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot episode and Riley Dawson’s to fool her foster father. “Ourselves Alone”
The T-3000 does a vocal impersonation of the guard he just stabbed to cancel a security shutdown at Cyberdyne Systems.
Lyrebird will offer an API to copy the voice of anyone. It will need as little as one minute of audio recording of a speaker to compute a unique key defining her/his voice. This key will then allow to generate anything from its corresponding voice. The API will be robust enough to learn from noisy recordings. The following sample illustrates this feature, the samples are not cherry-picked.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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