Isabel Grünewald, main speaker of our news podcast “Briefly informed”, now has a digital colleague: In cooperation with the AI audio company Aflorithmic, the audio editor cloned her voice. This week we are testing the artificial voice in public for the first time: every morning this week there will be an additional episode of “Briefly informed” with Isabel’s artificial voice.
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The compact audio news is very popular with our listeners, especially thanks to Isabel Grünewald’s distinctive voice. The production of the news podcast is time-consuming, so that an additional morning edition with Isabel’s voice was out of the question; even if Isabel is absent due to vacation or illness, we get into trouble and other colleagues have to step in.
A clone as a substitute
This gave rise to the idea of looking for a technical solution. This was found in the audiotech startup Aflorithmic. First, Grünewald recorded around two hours of audio material. From this, Aflorithmic created a first AI voice model. We attach particular importance to the correct voice coloring in order to come as close as possible to the sound of the original voice. The system isn’t perfect yet, but in many cases the AI imitates both the voice and Isabel’s speech melody surprisingly well.
With this first test, we want to find out not only how listeners take an artificial voice, but also whether we can use it to produce a second edition every day without straining Isabel’s real voice.
Most of the approximately 500,000 views of “briefly informed” per month are via smart speakers. We hope that Isabel’s artificial voice will stand out from the monotony of Alexa and Google voices, especially on these devices.
Listen to an episode with the cloned voice every morning this week on Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Another episode with Isabel Grünewald IRL will appear in the afternoon. We look forward to your feedback to [email protected]
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