Voice assistants are an integral part of today’s technology. Dominated by Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, it is important for voice tech to be loaded with realistic elements. With this in mind, London-based Sonantic has developed a human-quality artificial voice technology targeted at the gaming and entertainment industry.
The company announced on Monday that it has produced a video in collaboration with a Hollywood client titled “What’s Her Secret?”. The video surprises viewers when it’s revealed that the main character isn’t a real person but an AI.
Launched on Valentine’s Day, the video aims to demonstrate how entertainment studios can leverage AI to create hyper-realistic romantic encounters.
Expressive and realistic artificial voices
Founded in 2018 by Zeena Qureshi and John Flynn, Sonantic (previously, Speak Ai) aims to disrupt the entertainment and gaming voice industry. The company has built an AI-powered platform that creates compelling, nuanced and realistic voice models.
Sonantic offers dynamic voice acting on-demand, which is the ability to create a specific type of character in terms of accent, tone, personality, gender, and emotional state. The company’s human-quality text-to-speech system is provided by an API and a graphical user interface tool that lets synthetic voice actors be sculpted, directed and edited similar to human actors.
It benefits game studios as it provides faster iteration cycles at a much more affordable cost by reducing the logistical expenses and has voice models that are ready to perform.
“The theme of love”
Sonantic says it came up with the concept for the video with a focus on the theme of love.
The voice models, known for expressing a wide range of human emotions from happiness to sadness, can now convey subtleties such as flirty, coy and teasing, amongst other new “Style” options.
Sonantic has also developed the ability to capture non-speech sounds such as breaths, scoffs and laughs. According to the company, these advancements in speech synthesis make Sonantic’s platform more comprehensive.
“In the video, the character’s calm, soothing voice fluctuates ever so slightly as she asks, “What would it take for you to fall in love with me?” As you listen to the dialogue, notice when she laughs, breathes or sighs at just the right moments. The video surprises viewers when it’s revealed that, while the woman on screen is a real person, the main character speaking is an AI,” the company says in a blog post.
According to the founders, Qureshi and Flynn, “Human beings are incredibly complex by nature and our voices play a critical role in helping us connect with the world around us. At Sonantic, we are committed to capturing the nuances of the human voice, and we’re incredibly proud of these technological breakthroughs that we have brought to life through “What’s Her Secret”. From flirting and giggling to breathing and pausing, this is the most realistic romantic demo we’ve created to date, helping us inch closer to our vision of being the CGI of Audio.”