A week for AI announcements. Google have announced the release of Custom Voice in Beta. An opportunity to save internal communicators (and leaders) time through the power of technology. Ethical? We’re not sure. But this is one to watch.

Google has launched a number of updates to its Contact Center AI product. Most notable is the release of Custom Voice which is now available in Beta.

Google’s new Custom Voice service, lets brands create their own text-to-speech voices to best represent their own brands.

Perhaps you have a senior leader who is hard to make available to record a video, or perhaps you have a time-pressed announcement to make, Google’s Custom Voice delivers a Text-to-Speech (TTS) model that sounds as similar to your supplied audio data as possible. There are four key elements of this feature:

  • Speech to text: Accurately convert speech into text with telephony optimised models, regardless of phrasing, vocabulary, or accents in many languages
  • Text to speech: Convert text into natural-sounding speech
  • Natural language processing: Derive insights from unstructured text using Google machine learning
  • Dialogflow: Create conversational experiences across devices and platforms

How does it work?

With Custom Voice, the approach would be to take their voice talent into a studio (senior leader or a voice over actor) who will then read through a script provided by Google. Google will then use its AI capabilities to build a speech model based on them. Reports suggest this can take ‘several weeks’ and Google will conduct its own tests of the trained version before it is sent to the business for use.

From what we understand, if you want to use this feature you will need to send in a use case to Google and, if the training data (that is, the voiced Google-provided script) doesn’t pass their internal verification check, you may need to re-record the file.

Jonathan Phillips, Head of Consulting said: “Both Google and Microsoft are developing some very powerful voice technologies which, with the addition of AI, bring fascinating potential to communication teams. Technology like Google’s Custom Voice are a pragmatic, smart solution to time-limited voice ‘talent’ and the need to communicate. It’ll be fascinating to see how this will be used”
Custom Voice is currently in Beta and at the moment, only American English is supported.

While this is undoubtedly an exciting feature, given the process, it may take a while to adopt but we’ll keep an eye on developments.

If you have trialed Custom Voice, do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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