In the past, people with ALS could use pre-recorded messages to communicate as their disease progressed and removed their functions. BWM Dentsu and its PR arm, Haystac, have given them the ability to talk in their own authentic voice.
The project, Project Revoice, which was launched with the ALS Association in the US and MND Australia, is a breakthrough in speech technology.
To launch the initiative, Project Revoice has given Pat Quinn, co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, his voice back. Quinn did not record (or bank) his voice before ALS robbed him of his ability to speak. The team was able to re-build his voice by using footage from his many Ice Bucket interviews.
Pat Quinn stated, “ALS takes and takes and takes. This time I will take something back! For those living with ALS to know that they can still speak freely – in their own voice – even after ALS takes it away, will transform the way people live with this disease.”
The BWM Dentsu Group worked with Canadian software partner, Lyrebird, to create a complete voice clone. This allows Pat to speak freely and naturally in his own voice, rather than a ‘machine’ voice, when linked to his eye reader assistive technology.
The man who gave ALS a voice now has his own voice back.
“This new breakthrough will change the future of personal communication for people who are diagnosed with ALS from here-on,” noted Brian Frederick, executive vice president of communications, ALS Association.
The project was a collaboration between BWM Dentsu, Haystac, Lyrebird, Finch, Rumble Studios, Space 66 and the ALS Association, and took a year to produce. Project Revoice is now working to encourage MND and ALS communities around the world to record their voices so they can be digitally recreated in the future using the new voice cloning technology.
Asheen Naidu, executive creative director at BWM Dentsu, added, “Being able to give Pat his voice back and seeing what that means to him and his family, has been incredibly rewarding. Knowing that this tech is literally going to transform the lives of thousands more, is something we’re all very proud of.”
To hear how your re-voiced voice might sound, you can check a lower-quality demo version here.
Creative Agency: BWM Dentsu
Chief Creative Officer: Rob Belgiovane
Executive Creative Director: Asheen Naidu
Senior Creative Team: René Schultz & Oskar Westerdal
Film Producer: Emma Durlacher
Design Director: Eeuwout ‘Dutchy’ Baart
Digital Producer: Jenna Mills
Director: Brett Ludeman
Editor: Brendon Killen
PR Agency: Haystac
National General Manager Haystac: Jason Carnew
General Manager Haystac Sydney: Sarah Littlefair
Technology Partner: Lyrebird
Production Company: Finch
Sound & Music: Rumble Studios
Website: Space 66 & Finch