I have been blessed, on the whole, with good health for most of my life. Last week though, I was somewhat dealt a curved ball that really upset my apple cart when I came down with a sore throat.
It was so bad that it was painful to swallow anything so my liquid and food consumption went down to virtually nothing. What it also made me review was my ability to function with my life’s mission without a voice that could record audio.
Now I am sure there are many with much more severe afflictions of the throat, and other areas, that send their lives into a tailspin. I seem to be on the mend now and can catch up with my monthly commitments.
It did lead me to look at other options. I have already been playing with a kind of, but not quite, AI-based ambient music generator called Wotja. You can listen to something that it generated with minimal input from me here.
And here’s the dramatic effect the track that I named ‘Dreaming in Indigo’ had on one listener on Insight Timer :
“I have been meditating with you for a few years now and it’s been amazing to see how you have transformed your meditation practice. This was such a beautiful experience and a magnificent piece of work! So much detail, vibrations, movement, even color to this piece. I could feel movement and flight and peace, and relaxation. I think this is your best ever! Thank you for your creativity and for sharing. 🙏🏻💕”
The lack of a voice though lead me to investigate British AI text to voice engines. I found an intriguing one called Play.ht that even had a voice with the name of Thomas.
Then I dug a little deeper and discovered they can even clone your own voice from a 30 second sample. Here’s the 30 second sample I used to seed the engine.
[Note that this is a sample from my latest meditation on Insight Timer recorded while I had my voice intact]
What’s more, I then found it had a plugin for WordPress that allowed you to convert a blog post from text to audio. One of the benefits of this, of course, is to help create an alternate way for visitors to a web site to absorb content.
The two technologies together could of course be used for nefarious purposes to create deep fakes and even breach copyright. I have been a little sceptical about AI but I realised that they could be used to give a content creator a kind of immortality.
The lesson, of course, is a simple one. In all adversity lies opportunity. My condition is the inability to speak which I hope is temporary. What if more severe conditions visited a content creator’s door such as stroke, dementia or ultimately shedding this mortal coil?
In the meantime, let me share with you a synthetic audio version of this mindfully short moonthly blog.
P.s. and here’s the cloned audio version of this blog. I am very impressed it pronounce the non-English product name Wotja correctly though and, if you listen closely, you can hear the odd retention of breath in between sentences.