Val Kilmer fans can hear his voice again thanks to AI
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Val Kilmer, the star of films as varied as Top Gun, Batman Forever, Heat, and The Prince of Egypt, retired from public life following a diagnosis of throat cancer and two tracheostomies which severely impaired his ability to express himself vocally. He now speaks using a voicemail.
“Talking, once my joy and my life force, has become an hour-long struggle,” Kilmer wrote in his 2020 memoir. I am your Huckleberry, describing his voice as “Marlon Brando after a few bottles of tequila. It’s not a frog in my throat. More like a buffalo.”
But now fans of the actor can hear his voice again. Kilmer, who returns to the big screen in the long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick Later this year—teamed up with tech company Sonantic to generate a version of his speech using artificial intelligence, based on existing footage and recordings of his voice.
“We all have the ability to be creative,” Kilmer says in the video below. “We are all driven to share our deepest dreams and ideas with the world. When we think of the most talented and creative people, they speak to us in unique ways. a creative voice”. But I was stricken with throat cancer. After being treated, my voice as I knew it was taken away from me.
“People around me find it hard to understand me when I speak. But despite all of this, I still feel like I’m the exact same person, still the same creative soul. A soul that constantly dreams up ideas and stories. But now I can express myself again, I can bring you these dreams and show you once again that part of myself. A part that never really disappeared, just hidden.”
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