Our voices, preserved for history, starting with Roger Ebert

by Mark R

Some of you may not know this, but film critic Roger Ebert has recently lost his voice due to a complication after cancer surgery.

If he still wishes to continue his career, he could just stick to writing, or he could get one of those text-to-speech devices like Stephen Hawking.

That, or work with Scottish company CereProc by combining the hours of recordings from At The Movies, Siskel and Ebert and the Movies, and Ebert and Roeper and the Movies to create a database for his voice and daily vocabulary. It would be relatively easy to make any word from the sounds of other words.

I suppose that this is a way to create a library for people who will be losing their voices, like Ebert. Of course, you would probably have to have a lot of vocal recordings to get that database. I’m not certain how many syllables and vowel sounds there are, but it sounds like a complicated process.

In a way, I suppose that this is a way of preserving someone’s voice for an eternity, really. I once heard that a company can use a celebrity’s image after he or she is deceased. This definitely explains how John Wayne can appear on Coors ads.

I suppose if you really had vocal databases of every person, then you could have late celebrities say anything you want. This would explain a recent ad for One Laptop Per Child with John Lennon.

Take this tech one step further, and deceased could cut some new tunes. Man, that probably isn’t right.

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