Veritone Acquiress Synthetic Speech Startup VocaliD
Enterprise AI developer Veritone has acquired synthetic speech startup VocaliD for an undisclosed price. Veritone unveiled a voice model of iconic broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite to demonstrate how VocaliD’s tech will augment its existing voice cloning software used by its clients for educational, entertainment, and commercial projects.
Veritone is best known for the enterprise services provided by its aiWare platform, including audio and video transcription processing and analysis. The company began working on synthetic voice generation a few years ago, eventually integrating speech recognition technology from Speechmatics and launching the Marvel.ai platform to streamline the creation and licensing of digital voices. Veritone scored a high-profile deal with iHeartMedia to translate the podcasts hosted by the audio content giant into new languages while retaining the original voices. The collaboration could even extend to translating ads played during the podcasts. The Walter Cronkite voice clone was created to underscore the combined strength of the technology. Veritone and VocaliD worked with the Cronkite estate and Garner Creative Concepts to produce the model.
“Before knowing about Veritone Voice, I could never have imagined that it would be possible for the people to hear Walter Cronkite’s voice reading his own written words at this pivotal point in our history,” Garner Creative Concepts CEO and author Joe Garner said. “Hearing Walter’s voice speak the foreword that he wrote for my book in 1998, We Interrupt This Broadcast, has been incredibly meaningful for me personally and professionally.”
VocaliD launched in 2014 to develop voice prostheses for those with speech impairments before widening its work to provide custom voices for call centers and voice apps through partners like Voices.com. Buying VocaliD should boost Veritone’s capability as a synthetic speech provider. In particular, VocaliD’s vocal adjustment and audio mixing software will allow Veritone to more easily manage and scale its custom voices regardless of where they are deployed.
“From the beginning, we have believed that our voices are not identical, they are our identities and thus we focused on personalization and customization,” VocaliD CEO Dr. Rupal Patel said. “We are thrilled to join forces with Veritone, to bring our vision of leveraging AI voice to create more equitable, just, diverse, inclusive, expressive and engaging user experiences, to life. Given our shared commitment to responsible and ethical AI, we are poised to shape industry practices and define new monetization models that benefit all stakeholders.”
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