‘I Got Chills All Over My Body’: Son Uses AI To Recreate Late Father’s Voice For Xmas Gift

AI can be used to recreate people’s voice synthetically. (Representative Image)

In a heartwarming tale, a man from St. Louis, US, used AI to recreate his late father’s voice, delivering a Christmas surprise to his mother.

AI experts are always quick to talk about the dangers of generative AI—from how it could eventually replace human jobs to how it could become sentient and develop its own mind. But it’s important to remember that generative AI can also be incredibly beneficial, and if used properly, it can help people in ways that no other technology has been able to before.

Ergo, yes, it is true that AI can be beneficial, as it can help us become more efficient and automate tedious tasks that once took hours to complete. However, what if AI could be used to recreate the voice of a loved one who has passed away? This is exactly what a man from St. Louis, Missouri, United States, did when he recreated the voice of his late father to surprise his mother for Christmas, as reported by Good Morning America.

Phillip Willett shared parts of the same in a TikTok video after his wife suggested it, since he was already using AI for his client work. “At first, I was like, I don’t really want to wade into that. I thought it was kind of weird,” Willett was quoted as saying by Good Morning America.

However, he eventually convinced himself to search online to see if others were seeking a similar outcome. He relates that he found a “whole community” of individuals in the same boat. He next turned to ElevenLabs’ text-to-speech software to try and recreate his late father, John Willett’s voice.

“The actual first words that I put into the program were ‘Hi, honey.’ And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my late father say that in my life, which was why it was the first thing I put in,” Willett said.

Later, “When the program said it in his voice … I got chills all over my body,” Willett added. “That’s when I was like, I’m doing this no matter what.” In the end, he ended up putting together a video with photos and his dad’s synthetically created voice for his mother ahead of Christmas.

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