Friday, February 26, 2010

Roger Ebert Upate

Technology giving Roger Ebert his voice back - Chicago Breaking News: "Nearly four years after a battle with thyroid cancer robbed him of the ability to speak, iconic film critic Roger Ebert sounded like his former self Friday during a taping of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' the show's producer said.

It was no medical miracle, but rather a demonstration of new software using audio recordings of Ebert to create a synthetic voice that sounds like his own.

CereProc, a company based in Edinburgh, Scotland, created the voice for him using mostly audio of Ebert's DVD commentaries on 'Citizen Kane' and 'Casablanca.'"


Ed Gorman said...

I was thinking of Roger the other day. I knew him when we were teenagers and wrote for the same fanzines and later attended our respective first sf convention together. Then later when he was at the Sun Times and I was producing TV commercials in Chicago. We drank at the same bar; and then about at the same time we had to come to grips with our drinking (though by then we'd lost touch). Though three of us went on to become full-time fiction writers, Roger was certainly the only famous one of our small group. His film criticism has had a great influence on our culture, and a good influence, too, accessible, honest and useful. He's certainly shown courage and grace through this devastating battle with cancer. I wish him all the best, that's for sure.

George said...

I was hoping technology might help Ebert in the future, but this voice synthesizer happened quicker than I expected. Anything that improves Ebert's life, and the lives of cancer patients who struggle with similar problems, has my support.

Richard Robinson said...

The headline made me hope for something different than the fact. Sounds like he still has to think it-type it-trigger the sound to "say" it. I'd hoped he would be able to skip the typing part... Still this is a great improvement over just typing, I guess. If he's happy with it, great!