Val Kilmer gets his voice back via A.I. technology

Last Updated on August 23, 2021

val kilmer voice a.i.

Val Kilmer has fought an extremely brave battle against throat cancer the last few years and while he is cancer-free, a procedure on his trachea has reduced his voice to a rasp and rendered him short of breath. Due to cancer, Kilmer underwent chemotherapy and two tracheotomies but now the actor has gotten his voice back through new technology designed by Sonantic, a U.K.-based software firm that clones voices.

The company was able to create a model of Kilmer’s voice by using the same archival footage seen in the actor’s documentary, Val (read our review here!). The results are truly remarkable and it does give Kilmer a chance to have a piece of himself back that he lost due to his battle with cancer. You can listen to some of the results below!

Kilmer worked very closely with Sonantic to create the prototype that allows him to use a voice that we all can remember from the films that made him a star. The actor said “I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I’ve never imagined possible. As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the side effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me. The chance to narrate my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift.” The Sonantic team was also touched by doing this for Kilmer on a truly deep level. Sonantic Co-founder and CEO Zeena Qureshi had this to say about their work with Val Kilmer:

“I spent nine years helping children with autism learn how to use their voice as a better instrument for communication. The project with Val demonstrated again how empowering it can be when people overcome challenges with speaking.”

I watched his documentary Val last week and I have to say I was deeply moved by the whole experience. On the one hand, it’s an interesting look back at a very unique career but it also showcased Kilmer’s bravery as he deals with the ailments that have become a part of his daily life. Going through this would beat most of down and, while I’m sure he has his days when he does want to give his fate the middle finger, it seems like his positivity to keep living on is what triumphs. Having Kilmer’s son narrate the documentary to give his father a voice is an added emotional component that really makes the project truly resonate.

What are YOUR thoughts on Val Kilmer getting his voice back through A.I. technology?

Source: YouTube

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