WellSaid Labs has been building high-quality AI voices for a while now. This project was different. We collaborated with video avatar company Super Hi-Fi on a voice created from an actual Southern California afternoon DJ, Andy Chanley. What started as a technical challenge turned into a story of human connection through voice.
Our goal was to create an AI voice that expressed all the energy, intonation, and speech patterns of an actual radio DJ. Super Hi-Fi and WellSaid chose a well-known afternoon radio DJ from California, Andy Chanley, as the perfect model. The project was exciting for everyone, but it held special meaning for Andy.
Creating A Voice from Humans for Humans
To create a realistic AI DJ voice, it was crucial to find the right voice actor. WellSaid takes its responsibility to the voice actor community very seriously. Absolute consent and transparency about the use of a voice is just the beginning. We also take steps to protect the use of voices after release. Once all the stakes were clear with Andy, we got to work creating his custom voice avatar.
Reuters: “That radio DJ you hear might already be a robot”
Not Any Voice Actor Will Do
Obviously, to create a lifelike AI voice that is worth listening to, we have to start with a great human voice. Andy had already established himself as a talented DJ, so that part was easy. However, a voice actor needs to be willing to commit several hours to getting adequate samples for our algorithm.
As the project progressed, we discovered that Andy had extra motivation for this project. During his recording sessions, he was diagnosed with Stage 2 Lymphoma. He is doing well now, but took comfort in knowing his voice would be preserved for his family.
DJ “ANDY” Redefines AI Voice Uses
The finished product is astonishing. “ANDY” sounds nearly indistinguishable from the real Andy. This raises exciting new opportunities for using AI voice. For Andy, his avatar can be an added revenue stream, earning royalties for its use. But for advertising on programmatic platforms, “ANDY” opens all kinds of new doors.
Next time you listen to a streaming platform, imagine the custom ads and intros possible with AI voice in the future. From podcasts and music streaming, to video collaborations like Super Hi-Fi, AI voices will appear in all the media you consume. WellSaid Labs is will be leading the way.
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