VOCALiD :
YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW

MICHELE J MARTIN

2020 was, without question, a year like none other. While there was division, there was also a tremendous sense of community, coming together to help and support its own. People spoke up, spoke loudly, and continued to speak… all for those that weren't being heard.

These actions inspired us every day because it parallels our obsession with voice, and what voice means. Finding your voice, being brave enough to use it, and being heard authentically - these are powerful moments in a person's life, and these should be available to everyone. Having a voice is not limited to those who can speak. Everyone deserves to be heard, whether they were born with an operatic range or are living with speechlessness.

This is what we believe — everyone has a unique voice that deserves to be heard. This belief fundamentally fueled everything we did last year.

Within the assistive communication space, we have many accomplishments to share. We are proud to have welcomed 7k new Voicebank contributors, including our first from Greenland! And 57 students from the USSG International school in Guangzhou, China, participated in a Voice Drive in 2020! That brings the total number of our Human Voicebank users to over 87K today. Amazing, thank you!

To further this gift of voice - we have launched a Corporate Social Responsibility Employee Volunteer Program. We developed this in response to brands seeking unique remote volunteer opportunities for their staff. We are proud to welcome Verizon as our first CSR partner! Learn more about our CSR Programs.

Many of you know that we expanded our offerings in 2019 and began offering AI voice options to companies. We were receiving a growing number of inquiries in the enterprise business space as companies sought more robust and authentic-sounding text-to-speech voice options. Businesses that relied solely on traditional voice talent began seeking new ways to augment their content production processes — recognizing that their talent wasn't always available when they needed to deliver audible content.

For companies seeking audible content solutions, we recognized there was a need for more diverse voices, so we began recruiting voice talent from a broader range of vocal personalities, regions, and ethnicities for our enterprise-ready AI voices.

We have developed Parrot Studio, an audible content creation platform to further serve our enterprise clients. A first of its kind offering for content creators, Parrot offers efficiency AND customization to the audio production process, bringing AI voice to a new level. Those already using it in BETA call it a unique creative tool that stands out over standard API deployments.

To grow this side of our business we are forming alliances with other organizations who collectively see the potential benefits of AI voice for brands and consumers. We look forward to sharing these partnerships with you as they develop. Stay tuned for announcements soon.

Speaking of consumers, we heard you! In response to continued requests for a consumer voice product offering AND the increasing need for story preservation, we have launched a new consumer product called Voice Capsule. It is a technology-proof heirloom for individuals and families seeking to preserve their most important stories in their own voice.​

Voice Capsule captures stories through regularly scheduled guided prompts. Those recordings can later be shared with loved ones or turned into voice-based products such as an audio-biography audiobook. Unlike tape cassettes, voice memos, or videos… we ensure that the recordings are kept safe from accidental loss, erasure, or technological obsolescence.​

Click the image above to read Rupal Patel's post explaining her inspiration for creating Voice Capsule.

Learn more about Voice Capsule.

Rupal's obsession with voice and dedication to diversity is why she was honored with several industry recognitions in 2020:

In addition to Rupal's achievements, VocaliD received several press mentions in 2020. We are incredibly proud of the piece by Meghan McDonough for Scientific American entitled "Artificial Intelligence Is Now Shockingly Good at Sounding Human".

Finally, as we recap our achievements and advances, Meghan's article is an excellent segue into our technology. We continue to see massive improvements in the speed of voice building and reduction in data needed to create a voice. Today, VocaliD voices sound nearly identical to the individual who provided the source material, surprising those who have heard them side by side.

We are immensely proud of what our research and engineering team has accomplished. Currently, these advances are most accessible to our enterprise clients. Still, we keep pushing for these advances within the assistive realm. We believe those using synthetic voices to communicate should benefit from the latest technology, rather than limited by old-generation speech synthesis. We continue to advocate for this ideal.

Lastly, we are very excited about the psychological power of voice. We have been conducting an in-depth mapping of empathic response to voice, how people respond or feel when they hear a specific voice style. This will help us to better understand how AI voice can be used more effectively. By delving deeper into this, we are excited to see how we can bring our technology to greater heights.

We recognize that speaking of AI voices that sound just like voice talent or using voice to impact behavior may excite people and raise concerns about what-ifs. We need to stress our commitment to ethics in all of these advances.

In 2019 we were a founding member of Aithos Coalition, a consortium of synthetic media companies committed to ensuring ethics in AI. We believe that with every advance in technology we must consider any potential misuse of the technology. We MUST then take action to safeguard against these misuses. Click here for more information about Aithos Coalition.​

This year we have grown our team, and in response to Covid-19, shifted to remote work. We are so thankful for their continued dedication and ability to rise to new challenges through honest communication, humility, and the occasional embarrassing Zoom interruption from children, spouses, and pets.

Like many of you, we have also struggled with social isolation, lack of personal routines and professional structure, and detachment from family and friends. While we have been blessed with our physical and business health through this pandemic, we have watched friends, family, and community members suffering significant losses. With all sincerity, we send our love and compassion to all of you who have experienced loss. We are hopeful for what the future brings.

Thank you for being part of our community
- From all of us at VocaliD

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Rupal Patel Named 2020 Voice Visionary

MICHELE J MARTIN

VocaliD is honored to announce that our Founder & CEO Rupal Patel has been named one of 17 Top Voice Visionaries for 2020 for the second year in a row.

The Top Leaders in Voice is a recognition bestowed upon those working in the voice space by a panel of journalists and voice technology peers. Now in its second year, the 2020 Voice Leaders are segmented into four lists - Visionaries, Designers and Products, Technologists, and Influencers.

Topping the list in the Visionaries category are once again Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Adam Cheyer from Samsung and Viv Labs. While Patricia Scanlon of Soapbox Labs and Dr. Ben Goertzel of Singularitynet join the list for 2020.https://voicebot.ai/top-visionaries-in-voice-2020/

Design and Product Leaders have added some new honorees, including Lisa Falkson and Wally Brill of Google, and Maaike Groenewege of Convocat.

The Technologists category has some exciting new additions including Ilya Sutskever of OpenAI, Monica Lam of Open Virtual Assistant Lab, and Juergen Schmerder of Mercedes-Benz R&D NA.

Then there are the Influencers that are shaping the way consumers and corporate executives think about voice technology today such as Michal Stanislawek & Karol Stryja of #VoiceLunch, plus podcasters Teri Fisher of Voice First Health and Carl Robinson of Voice Tech.​

"Even while the tech giants expand their reach, companies such as Deepgram, Open AI, Pryon, Rasa, Sensory, SingularityNET, Stanford University, and others are pushing out innovative technology architectures while end users ranging from Deutsche Telekom and Comcast to Mercedes, BBC, and Mayo Clinic are showing how voice AI is being incorporated into everyday life."
-voicebot.ai

Voicebot utilized a variety of methods to narrow down their list and determine the final Top 68 Leaders in Voice, including - surveys of voice professionals, panel suggestions, media coverage, and social media activity. None of the writers affiliated with Voicebot were eligible for consideration. Unlike last year, this year a judge was allowed to be included when she (Katherine Prescott of Voicebrew) received too many nominations to ignore. Each individual was then scored based on several factors and, if chosen, were then segmented into their leadership category.

Learn more about the selection process and the panel of judges, listed at the bottom of the overview page, linked above.

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VOCALID WINS PROJECT VOICE AWARDS 2020

MICHELE J MARTIN

VocaliD is honored to announce that we took home the Healthcare Voice Experience of the Year award at this year's Project Voice Awards in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The awards recognize best-in-class global achievement across the realm of voice-first technology and its underlying AI. The Project Voice Awards are part of the annual Project Voice conference, an event focused on everything voice tech — featuring practitioners, technologists, executives, and leaders in this emerging space.

Voice Preservation Clinic -VocaliD + Northeastern University

From all of us at VocaliD, thank you to the judges for their votes and to all of you, for your continued support!

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VOCALiD NAMED FINALIST IN
PROJECT VOICE AWARDS 2020

MICHELE J MARTIN

VocaliD is honored to announce that we are finalists for three Project Voice Awards. The awards recognize best-in-class global achievement across the realm of voice-first technology and its underlying AI. This year's Project Voice Awards Gala takes place in Chattanooga, Tennessee on January 15th, 2020. Winners will be announced live so please stay tuned to our social accounts for live updates!

Rupal Patel - CEO & Founder of VocaliD

Voice Preservation Clinic -VocalID + Northeastern University

Voice Preservation Clinic -VocalID + Northeastern University

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Rupal Patel Named 2019 Voice Visionary

MICHELE J MARTIN

VocaliD is honored to announce that our Founder & CEO Rupal Patel has been named one of 11 Top Voice Visionaries for 2019.

The Top Leaders in Voice is a recognition bestowed upon those working in the voice space by a panel of journalists and voice technology peers. The 2019 Voice Leaders are segmented into four lists - Visionaries, Designers and Products, Technologists, and Influencers.

"Topping the list in the visionaries category are Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Adam Cheyer from Samsung and Viv Labs.

Designers and products leaders include Google’s Cathy Pearl and Mark Webster from Adobe.

The Technologists category includes another Googler, Brad Abrams, along with John Giannadrea from Apple and Rohit Prasad from Amazon.

Then there are the Influencers that are shaping the way consumers and corporate executives think about voice technology today such as Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media, Dave Isbitski from Amazon, and Noelle LaChartie from Microsoft.

However, these lists are not limited to executives at big companies. Many have an outsized influence on the market today because of the reach and impact of their companies, but also included are startup founders from Audioburst, Audio Analytic, Clinc, Orbita, Pretzel Labs, and VocaliD among others."

-voicebot.ai

Voicebot utilized a variety of methods to narrow down their list and determine the final Top 44 Leaders in Voice, including - surveys of voice professionals, panel suggestions, media coverage, and social media activity. None of the judges or writers affiliated with Voicebot were eligible for consideration. Each individual was then scored based on several factors and, if chosen, were then segmented into their leadership category.

Learn more about the selection process and the panel of judges, listed at the bottom of the overview page, linked above.

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BeSpoke Voices Named Finalist
in 2019 Index Awards

MICHELE J MARTIN

VocaliD is honored that BeSpoke Voice has been named one of 42 finalists in the 2019 Index Awards. Nominated for the Body Category, BeSpoke Voice finds its place alongside innovative solutions such as Thumy, Petit Pli, MasSpec Pen, and Project Coelicolor.

Watch the BeSpoke finalist video below:

The Index Award is a biennial award launched in 2005 by The Index Project, a global design event that was established in 2002 by Kigge Hvid. While it was originally crafted as a way to promote Denmark as an innovative design nation, the project quickly took on a more global footprint. Its mission is a simple yet lofty one - "Design to Improve Life".

Since their inception they have given out 42 awards in 5 categories: Body, Home, Work, Play & Learning, Community, and a People's Choice. Winning products and team span the globe. Some of the previous winners of the Index Awards include Tesla (the only team to win twice - once for the the Tesla Roadster and again for the Tesla Powerwall rechargeable battery), Raspberry Pi, Ethereum Foundation, Duolingo, Paperfuge, The Ocean Cleanup Array, Labster, Fresh Paper, and the " Copenhagen Climate Adaption Plan".

"I felt it was important to create a solution that would give every individual a unique voice."

-Rupal Patel, CEO of VocaliD

When will we hear if we won? Well, the Index Award's ceremony takes place on September 6th, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Regardless of whether we win, we are proud to be recognized alongside our esteemed global peers in technology and innovation. We will be cheering everyone on... and hoping for a win, of course!

Stay tuned for updates!

Learn more about BeSpoke Voice by VocaliD

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