News Mobile App Artifact Adds Celebrity Voice Clone Readers
Voice clones of Gwyneth Paltrow or Snoop Dogg can now read you the news collected on the Artifact mobile app. The AI-generated voices are among a portfolio from text-to-voice startup Speechify that Artifact has incorporated into its app, augmenting the existing generative AI summarization and headline rewrite tools.
Artifact is a personalized news app created by Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The new feature embeds text-to-speech AI from synthetic voice startup Speechify to read the articles aloud in more than 30 different voices for free. The voices are available on a menu accessed by tapping the play button in any article. Though the two celebrity voices are unique, the others can all have their speed and accent adjusted to best suit the user. The chosen voice will read the article, though users can still nose around other pieces while it’s playing. And some voices may not be officially celebrity clones, but are clearly in that style, like the Barack Obama-esque’ Mr. President’ or Rainn Wilson sound-alike ‘Dwight” voices.
“Speechify uses AI to create natural sounding reading voices and has helped millions of people as the most popular text-to-speech app available,” Artifact explained in a blog post. “We hope this helps create more flexibility in how you can catch up and stay informed — whether you are commuting, jogging, or just doing chores. Text-to-speech is now available on iOS and will launch on Android soon.”
Artifact uses AI to work out what articles to recommend to users. The AI looks at aspects of their reading, including what they click on, how long they spend on an article, and whether they share it to cultivate articles the user might prefer. It’s not dissimilar to basic news apps like Apple and Google, but the style is more suggestive of TikTok and its black box algorithm for picking videos a user might enjoy.
Artifact has been steadily enhancing its AI features since its January launch. In April, the app added a generative AI-powered summarization feature for news articles. The feature included several styles for the summary, including all-emoji and “explain like I’m five.” In June, that feature expanded toward the option of rewriting headlines of articles a user claims are clickbait, using GPT-4 to adjust it to something less sensationalized.