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Interview with Respeecher Co-Founder at NAB Show 2024: A Peek into the Future of Localization & AI Ethics

May 8, 2024 9:35:55 AM

In an exclusive interview at the National Association of Broadcasters' recent event, NAB Show 2024, Grant Reaber, co-founder and Chief Research Officer of Respeecher, provided insights into the company's groundbreaking advancements in AI voice cloning technology and its transformative impact on the film and television industry.

Founded in 2018, Respeecher has been at the forefront of harnessing the potential of generative AI, particularly in text-to-speech synthesis and speech-to-speech synthesis. Reaber, reflecting on the genesis of Respeecher, cited the key breakthroughs in AI, such as GANs and WaveNet, which inspired him to explore the possibilities of realistic audio generation.

One of Respeecher's most compelling applications is localization, which allows content creators to adapt their productions for multiple markets effortlessly. By integrating with various localization platforms, Respeecher streamlines workflows and enables using the original actor's voice in different languages, opening up new avenues for global content distribution.

Grant Reaber elaborated on the versatility of Respeecher's solutions, ranging from text-to-speech for localization to speech-to-speech conversion for diverse applications. Notably, Respeecher's technology can preserve emotional nuances in speech, offering unprecedented control over voice modulation and expression.

However, Reaber acknowledged the evolving challenges in achieving controllability and addressing AI ethics. Respeecher is committed to ensuring fair compensation, consent, and control for voice actors through innovative approaches, including integrating actors' voices into the platform and facilitating broader opportunities for creative expression.

"The actors get paid when their voices are used. We even have voice actors who use our product because it can give a voice actor more of the ability to get more work — you could do a job in the voice of the opposite gender, for instance. But as long as you can do the performance, the biological constraints of your voice can be bypassed, so to speak,"


Grant Reaber, Chief Research Officer & co-founder of Respeecher


One example is the case study of The Mandalorian, in which Respeecher recreated the younger Luke Skywalker's voice almost identically to the real version. With Mark Hamill being 68 years old and Skywalker barely twenty years old in the time period of The Mandalorian, Respeecher had its work cut out for them.

When questioned about the technical intricacies of Respeecher's implementation, Reaber highlighted the company's bespoke services for cloning specific voices and its Voice Marketplace for accessing a curated selection of AI voices. He also addressed the complexities of preserving ambient audio characteristics during speech conversion, emphasizing ongoing efforts to refine the technology.

Looking ahead, Reaber outlined a future where AI voice cloning technology capabilities transcend conventional boundaries, creating entirely novel voices and empowering users to realize their creative visions. While acknowledging the regulatory and ethical considerations inherent in this progression, he expressed confidence in the limitless potential of AI voice synthesis.

As Respeecher continues to push the boundaries of voice AI, its impact on the media landscape promises to be profound. It will revolutionize the way content is created, localized, and experienced on a global scale.

You can watch the full interview here:

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