ALS is also known as Motor Neurone Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that, amongst other symptoms, often takes away a person’s ability to speak. Project Revoice is a non-profit initiative with the ultimate goal to ensure that no one living with ALS will ever have to suffer being robbed of their voice.
As co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Pat Quinn helped give the global ALS community a voice, until the disease robbed him of his own. This is the story of how he got it back.
With breakthroughs in voice technology, it’s now possible to synthesize and fully recreate the unique essence of any voice and build a complete digital voice clone.
With just a couple of hours of high-quality recordings to work with, this technology can make your digital voice clone sound natural, dynamic and – most importantly – just like you. Project Revoice aims to give more people with ALS the opportunity to record and recreate their own unique voice for future use with Augmented/Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.
We will soon release a free and easy-to-use voice bank. Recording your voice this way will ensure you have the voice material necessary to create your own ‘Revoice’ when the full voice cloning application launches. To receive a notification when our voice bank opens, as well as helpful tips on how to prepare for your voice banking, please fill out the Register Your Interest form.
Please note that this technology is currently limited to English only and optimized for American accents. Future updates may include other languages and accents.
Website & Video launch
Voice Bank launch
Users receive ‘How-to voice bank’ email
Voice cloning begins
Users receive ‘How-to-Revoice’ email
Your Revoice ready for use
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is also known as Motor Neurone Disease. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
When these motor neurons die, the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may lose the ability to move, speak and finally to breathe.
Project Revoice is an initiative from The ALS Association (USA), working in partnership with an Australian creative agency, a Canadian technology company, and Australian production houses. Together, we’re working to give ALS/MND communities the opportunity to record and digitally recreate their voices. This cutting-edge voice technology – in combination with Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) devices – will give ALS patients the ability to communicate with their own voice, even after they can no longer speak.
Project Revoice is powered by breakthrough voice cloning technology, developed by our Canadian software partner Lyrebird. With 2-3 hours of high-quality audio recordings to work with, this model can synthesize the essence of your voice and build a complete digital recreation of it.
Until now, the two main sources of preserving voices have been either message banking or traditional voice banking. Message banks enable users to record everyday lines of speech, which are then played back at the touch of a button. Traditional voice banking requires users to record thousands of sentences, which can take weeks or months to complete. This speech is then cut and pasted together to re-create sentences.
Project Revoice allows users to deliver new lines of speech using their recorded voice in an entirely new way. Using only 2-3 hours of recorded speech, the advanced technology uses machine learning to clone voices and recreate natural expressive speech to a level that has never been achieved before.
Project Revoice’s partnership with Lyrebird means that you can start recording your voice by mid-2018, with a view to make the full voice cloning application available by the end of 2018. There are three basic phases – Phase 1 is the launch of the website and the video; Phase 2 is the launch of the Voice Banking feature allowing people to record their voice for later use when Phase 3 launches; Phase 3 is the creation of the voice clones (“Revoices”) which will be available for use on the projectrevoice.org website.
Yes, you can go to our partner Lyrebird’s website and create a lower quality version of your voice. While this demo isn’t reflective of the end result that you can achieve with proper high-quality voice banking, it will give you an idea of what’s going to be possible through Project Revoice.
Yes. We believe that no one living with ALS/MND should be robbed of their voice, no matter where they live or from whom they get their support. We are currently working with our global project partners to make the process of digitizing voices easier and quicker for all, wherever they live.
Once voices are cloned at the end of 2018, you will be able to use your Revoice via the Project Revoice website. Future updates may include other ways of accessing your Revoice.
The ALS Association is proud to have provided financial support to the Augmentative Communication Program (ACP) at Boston Children’s Hospital, led by John Costello. This program promotes the development and adoption of comprehensive and proactive technologies, including “message banking,” allowing people with ALS to communicate in their own voice. You can learn more about the ACP here.
In addition, Team Gleason recently announced that they have partnered with ModelTalker to fund voice banking for people with ALS. You can learn more about that program here.
We believe Project Revoice is an addition to this landscape and we support all efforts to make assistive technology and voice banking as accessible as possible to people living with ALS/MND.
First, given the progressive nature of the disease, we wanted to ensure that people with ALS who still have their voice have the option to voice bank now via the website. We will be launching the voice banking feature very soon. Second, we wanted to help raise awareness of ALS and the effects of the disease on a person’s ability to speak. Finally, we wanted to help people with ALS understand the benefits to recording their voice – via this site, ModelTalker, or any other technology – while they still can.
Unfortunately, for the time being, a Revoice can only be created using the voice banking feature on this site. Pat’s Revoice was the product of many months of pro-bono work by several different agencies who were inspired by his work to raise awareness of ALS. We are exploring other options to try to help people who may have recordings of their voice but can no longer speak or use the voice banking feature on this site.