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Using my-own-voice, anyone can bank a digital copy of their voice in just 10 minutes

UPDATE 17 May 2023 | Turns out a Cupertino-based company thought voice-banking would be a useful feature, too. As part of a suite of new accessibility tools, Apple is introducing Personal Voice, which allows users to synthesize their voice in 15 minutes. A quote in their announcement explains why: "At the end of the day, the most important thing is being able to communicate with friends and family," said Philip Green, board member and ALS advocate at the Team Gleason nonprofit, who has experienced significant changes to his voice since receiving his ALS diagnosis in 2018. "If you can tell them you love them, in a voice that sounds like you, it makes all the difference in the world."

Last year, we covered I Will Always Be Me, an illustrated e-book that helps individuals with motor neuron diseases bank their voices for future use in digital speech aids. We recently spotted a similar tool that enables anyone to create a digital backup of their voice.

Acapela Group uses advanced AI technology to personalize synthetic voice creation. The latest iteration of their web-based solution, my-own-voice 4, leverages deep neural networks to streamline the voice banking process. Rather than requiring extensive voice recordings, users only need to record 50 sentences. Within 10 minutes, they'll have created a synthetic version of their vocal identity.

The technology is of immense value to those who've lost their natural voice due to conditions such as ALS, aphasia or apraxia. 

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Voices are a vital part of human individuality and self-expression. As text-to-speech technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, we could also see products like my-own-voice serve people who aren't suffering from a debilitating condition — people in sales or customer service with a bad cold, for example, or those in other vocally demanding roles who just need a break from speaking.

Using a digital rendering of their own voice would allow people to give their vocal cords a rest while still sounding entirely like themselves. The era of personalized assistive technology is upon us. Brands best at leveraging it will lead the way by offering products that aren't just functional but retain and enhance a user's individuality.