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Val Kilmer's Old Speaking Voice Recreated Using Artificial Intelligence

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Val Kilmer's Old Speaking Voice Recreated Using Artificial Intelligence

Val Kilmer's voice has been recreated using artificial intelligence (AI) and old audio recordings. Hear it for yourself here:

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The former Batman actor lost his voice following a tracheotomy in 2014, as part of his treatment for throat cancer.

Kilmer - who starred in films such as Top Gun, Willow, The Doors, Tombstone, and Heat - opened up about how he now finds it difficult 'to talk and to be understood' in new documentary, Val.

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But thanks to the power of AI, the 61-year-old has a lifelike recreation of the voice audiences grew accustomed to down the decades.

Kilmer lost his old speaking voice following treatment for throat cancer. Credit: PA
Kilmer lost his old speaking voice following treatment for throat cancer. Credit: PA

The voice model was created with the help of tech company Sonantic, which used old audio recordings of the actor.

A 'voice engine' then used fine-tuned algorithms to train the model and 40 different voice models were created.

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The best and most expressive one was then selected for Kilmer, and he will be able to improve it further as he uses it, adjusting parameters like pacing and pitch to tailor his delivery.

Kilmer said it was an 'incredibly special gift'.

He said: "I'm grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I've never imagined possible.

"As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me.

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"The chance to tell my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift."

Kilmer said the AI voice model was an 'incredibly special gift'. Credit: PA
Kilmer said the AI voice model was an 'incredibly special gift'. Credit: PA

Sonantic said it is 'looking forward to hearing how Val will use this voice model to explore new creative possibilities that entertain and inspire us in the future'.

The company's co-founder and CEO, Zeena Qureshi, said: "I spent nine years helping children with autism learn how to use their voice as a better instrument for communication.

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"The project with Val demonstrated again how empowering it can be when people overcome challenges with speaking.

"Val is an inspirational person with a deep soul. And to this day, he's brimming with creative talent, in spite of everything he's faced.

"We collaborated on this voice model because we believe it will help him connect with people and enable him to continue to tell stories that move us.

"I'm honoured to be part of this project with Val, and I know the team shares this feeling."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Celebrity, Interesting, US News

Jake Massey
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