We are excited to announce our latest partnership — with Aflorithmic Labs, a London/Barcelona-based technology company. Their api.audio platform enables fully automated, scalable audio production by using synthetic media and audio mastering, to then deliver it on any device, such as websites, mobile apps, or smart speakers.

With VocaliD and Aflorithmic you can build a perfectly customized audio product according to your needs, brand values, and tone of voice.

With this partnership, Aflorithmic users will now have access to the VocaliD’s highest quality voices to go from text into fully produced audio files that can be published to any device or platform.

We are thrilled to be able to offer VocaliD’s Premium VoiceDubbs on api.audio. This partnership provides developers access to both the highest quality synthetic voices and robust audio mastering capabilities ... in one place. Our first premium VoiceDubbs on api.audio have just launched and are available now! Stay tuned for release announcements as we’ll be regularly launching new diverse premium offerings on api.audio.

Developers aren’t the only ones that benefit from our partnership with Aflorithmic. Voice talent will have a chance to have their voice used across a vast array of api-enabled social media sites, mobile apps, websites, and more. This will not only increase their revenue, but it will also increase their audible reach and help them grow their voice brand with less effort! The best part in using VoiceDubbs to scale their business is the level of control they’ll maintain in the licensing and use of their voice.

Voice talent interested in learning more about VoiceDubbs and working with VocaliD are invited to read more about our process here: AI VoiceDubbs for Voice Talent

This is just the beginning of our collaboration. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

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All of this month, we have been celebrating "Women MAKING history in voice tech." These are women working across disciplines within the voice technology community who we believe help build this innovative industry and push for it to be more diverse and inclusive.

Recognizing & supporting women in STEM is something we believe in strongly.

According to UNESCO's global statistics, only 29.3% of the researchers working in science are women. In the U.S., women fare a bit better - "Women in 2019 also made up nearly half of those in all math (47%) and life and physical science (45%) occupations."

But that isn't enough. The U.S. Census Report also explains that women aren't making gains in computer or engineering occupations, which comprise 80% of the STEM workforce.

It goes on to say, "women represented only about a quarter of computer workers and 15% of those in engineering occupations. They were, however, a majority of the nation's social scientists. But social science accounted for only 3% of STEM occupations.

Women working in engineering occupations increased from 3% in 1970 to 15% in 2019. And while the percentage of women in computer occupations is higher than in 1970, it actually decreased between 1990 and 2019."

So, to decrease this massive gender gap, what do we do? How do we attract and retain more talented young women into STEM? One of those ways is through mentoring, which is near and dear to our Founder, Dr. Rupal Patel.

Dr. Patel often *speaks to young scientists and entrepreneurs, focusing mainly on young women in STEM. Over her long career as a scientist, she has personally mentored many students and young clinicians who are just beginning their careers. Whether it is at a conference, a small talk at a university, or one-on-one, mentoring is a passion for Rupal.

She recently participated as a guest mentor in the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Apprenticeship Program, speaking to a group of young women between 14-18-years old. The purpose of the program is to address the gender gap in science by focusing on female high school students with a curiosity for STEM-related topics. These young women who apply must show an interest in how science and technology are transforming the world and are considering what opportunities are available to the next generation of leaders. By leveraging female mentors' experiences from various STEM industries, the program attendees gain invaluable insight to help nurture their interests in STEM fields and potentially help reduce the gap.

CDL Apprenticeship Program Event

If you have been thinking about mentoring, but aren't quite sure how to do it, here are some suggestions. Consider reaching out to your alma mater, local schools, or organizations that align with your mentoring goals, i.e., mentoring a young woman in science or entrepreneurship.

Rupal has provided some of her best advice, gained from her many mentoring opportunities, for those just starting out as a mentor:

Mentoring happens naturally and organically. It isn't the same process as searching for an intern or employee, don't approach it as such. The process is more intuitive — you will see potential in someone, and you will want to help them succeed.

Find alignment - you'll have more fun, and you'll be able to contribute greater if you have alignment between their interests and goals and your interests and background.

Be realistic. Only take on mentees if you have time - you can't be there for everyone. But if you commit, make sure you follow through and make yourself accessible.

Be a sounding board - we don't need clones. Mentoring is about helping and nurturing through supportive advice, not telling someone how to do something to be just like someone else.

Be you - often, women will feel that they can only portray their professional self; their personal life needs to be hidden. Your mentee doesn't need to know details about your personal life. However, understanding what real balance looks like and the varied roles you play in your life can be a vital lesson.

Sometimes it doesn't work out, and even the best intentions may not land well. Be open and transparent but don't force it. You aren't obligated to be a mentor, nor are they to being your mentee. Life happens, people change, situations adapt. Keep the conversation open and know when it is time to walk away.

Mentoring isn't one way - I have found that you learn and get back as much from your mentees as you give.

While we only spent a month highlighting these brilliant women on social media, we hope that this has inspired others to call out and recognize bright women they know. Let's continue to shine a light on them, and instead of Women's History Month, let's transform 2021 into The Year of the Woman!

*If you are interested in having Rupal speak to your organization about her experiences as a mentor, a founder, or scientist, please email your request to hello@vocalid.ai

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In August, after a competitive multi-stage interview process, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) informed us that we were accepted to participate in an accelerator program for scalable, science and technology-driven startups. We are excited to announce that VocaliD has graduated from the 2020/2021 CDL- Montreal AI stream!

A program leader stands with his back to the camera while beyond him sits a small auditorium of students

The CDL program's goal is to help founders accelerate novel innovations' commercialization trajectory, becoming successful, scalable ventures.

Once accepted, the hard work began — a 6 month long series of networking and intensive work sessions where our Founder - Rupal Patel, along with members of our engineering and research team, would meet and work with our program mentors — a curated group of investors, tech entrepreneurs, and industry leaders.

We are proud of the work our team put into this and found it to be valuable, providing us with new insights and learnings we can lean on moving forward. We would encourage other companies to apply in the future!

"The eight-week sprints focused on key objectives with the guidance of mentors with operational, investment, and advisory experience is the CDL secret sauce. The discipline of this iterative process has been an incredible growth experience for our team."

Dr. Rupal Patel — Founder & CEO of VocaliD

Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a nonprofit organization that delivers an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies. Its nine-month program allows founders to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their likelihood of success.

Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, the program has expanded to nine sites across four countries: Oxford (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), Paris (HEC Paris), Atlanta (Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology), Madison (Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Vancouver (Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia), Montreal (HEC Montréal), Calgary (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary), and Halifax (Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University).

Since its inception, companies that have participated in the CDL program have created more than $7.5 billion (CAD) in equity value. CDL alumni include North (Waterloo), Atomwise (San Francisco), Kyndi (Palo Alto), Xanadu (Toronto), BenchSci (Toronto), Kheiron Medical (London), and Roadbotics (Pittsburgh).

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Samuel L. Jackson has appeared in over 120 films, many of which are such blockbusters or cult classics that it would be unlikely for you to meet someone today who does not know this man's face or voice. However, this could have gone a different way, as he wasn't originally sold on an acting career.

Jackson initially majored in marine biology at Morehouse College before switching to architecture. He later settled on drama, thankfully for us. He has appeared on stage, television, and the big screen.

When he first began acting in the 1970s, Morgan Freeman was a mentor to him. In the 80s, he would begin working with Spike Lee, appearing in a number of his films. Early on in the 90s, it became apparent that he had some dangerous issues with addiction. His family entered him into rehab in NY. Once getting sober, his career took off. By the mid-1990s, he was a box office star.

Can you imagine the following films without Samuel L. Jackson?
Pulp Fiction, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Jackson Brown, Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace, Shaft, Unbreakable, Coach Carter, Snakes on a Plane, Iron Man, and more.

His films have grossed over $27B, making him the world's highest-grossing actor, and winning him a Guinness World Record in 2015.

In 2004 Jackson added voice acting to his resume with the animated film The Incredibles and video game Grand Theft Auto. Jackson's performance of Frozone in The Incredibles earned him an Annie Award nomination for Best Voice Acting.

In 2006 Samuel was asked to provide God's voice in the audiobook, The Bible Experience, because the producers felt his voice was a perfect match. On the other end of the spectrum from that project, he also recorded the audiobook version of Adam Mansbach's best-selling children's book for adults, "Go the F* to Sleep."

Samuel L. Jackson and his wife LaTanya Richardson started their own charity In 2009 to help support education. IN 2013 he launched a campaign with Prizeo to raise money to fight Alzheimer's disease. He launched a campaign called "One for the Boys," which teaches men about testicular cancer and urges them to "get themselves checked out."

As part of California's Your Actions Save Lives campaign Jackson encouraged people to wear masks to reduce transmission of Covid-19. To further help with the pandemic, he and Dwayne Johnson encouraged coronavirus patients to donate blood plasma to help others fighting the virus.

"Take a stand for what's right. Raise a ruckus and make a change. You may not always be popular, but you'll be part of something larger and bigger and greater than yourself. Besides, making history is extremely cool."

Over his career Samuel L. Jackson has received over 88 nominations and won 42 of them. His first award was a BAFTA for Supporting Actor for Pulp Fiction. For a full list of his awards, check out his IMDB.

Hollywood Walk of Fame Star - 2013
Imprint Ceremony - Grauman's Chinese Theatre 2006
Man of the Year - Hasty Pudding Theatricals 1999
Career Achievement - Palm Springs International Film Festival 2005
Achievement in Acting - Hawaii International Film Festival 2005
Highest Grossing Actor of All Time - Guinness World Record 2015
Global Contribution to Motion Picture - National Film Awards, UK 2016
Lifetime Achievement Award
- BET Awards 2016
Cinema Icon Award - CinemaCon 2018

Unmistakable and unforgettable, Samuel L. Jackson's vocal style is a roller coaster of expression. Outside of his acting, his regular speaking voice is joyful. When telling a story, he sounds like a kid having the best day of his life; it is intoxicating to listen to. One of the reasons he's such a great storyteller and actor. In his acting work, he can use his voice's full range, like a musical instrument, to show each character's nuances and draw us all in. It is no wonder that he is one of the most iconic voices in acting today.

If we could choose to have a voice narrate our life, similar to Stranger Than Fiction, it might be Samuel L. Jackson. Apologies to Emma Thompson, she is delightful, but it IS Samuel L. Jackson.

We spend a lot of time thinking about voice. About what voice communicates outside of the words they say, about the importance of vocal representation in healthcare, media, and technology. Whether it be human voice or digital, the voices we interact with should sound like the voices surrounding us. Today, organizations are thinking more about the power of voice in their communications and content. We help those organizations imagine the possibilities of a world in which digital voice matched the world of human voice.

Digital voice can be as dynamic, expressive, and representative of the world we hear around us— learn more about AI-Voice.


Motorcycle voices are defined as Loud, Deep, Modal, and Oral. Learn more about the unique characteristics that make up our voices and voice types here: VOCALiD Voice Types.

This is the twenty eighth and final in our Iconic Black Voices series. Make sure to check out our blog to read more about all of our featured Iconic Black Voices from this month's Black History Month celebration.

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As a little girl, Dr. Mae Jemison grew up watching the Apollo television airings. But she was frustrated that she didn't see herself represented. There were no female astronauts.

She would find her inspiration in Nichelle Nichols, the Black actress who played Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek. Through Nichols, Jemison dreamed of one day going to space. Years later, it would come full circle for Dr. Jemison when LeVar Burton, a star of the Star Trek Next Generation (STNG) series, reached out to her and asked Mae to appear in an episode. She became the first real astronaut to appear on STNG, playing Lieutenant Palmer in the episode, "Second Chances."

Jemison first applied to NASA in 1985. However, NASA paused the program the next year following the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy. When they reactivated the program in 1987, Dr. Jemison reapplied. Of more than 2.000 applicants, she was one of only 15 people chosen for NASA Astronaut Group 12.

After training with NASA, Mae worked on projects at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory. In 1989 she was chosen to join the STS-47 crew on the space shuttle Endeavor as a Mission Specialist. Dr. Jemison, along with six other astronauts, went into space on September 12, 1992. Mae Jemison became the first Black woman in space. After 127 orbits around the Earth, the team returned to the Kennedy Space Center on September 20, 1992. After six years as an astronaut, Dr. Jemison left NASA in 1993.

Since leaving NASA, Dr. Mae Jemison has gone on to found two separate companies with big goals. The Jemison Group is a consulting company that encourages science, technology, and social change, while The Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries.

In addition to her entrepreneurship, she has taken a great interest in the younger generation through teaching or mentorship. She created a nonprofit organization called the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence. In 1994, Jemison created an international space camp for students 12-16 years old called The Earth We Share (TEWS). Her first book, "Find Where the Wind Goes," is a children's book about her life, meant to inspire their own lives. Ms. Jemison has taught environmental studies at Dartmouth College, and in 1999, accepted the position of Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.

Currently, Jemison is leading the 100 Year Starship project through the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This project works to ensure human space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years.​

Mae Jemison is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors for many organizations, some of which are: Scholastic, Inc., Morehouse College, Texas Medical Center, Texas State Product Development and Small Business Incubator, Greater Houston Partnership Disaster Planning and Recovery Task Force, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

In 2016 Huntsville city school system named a new state-of-the-art high-tech high school in her honor. Jemison High School is focused on providing students an opportunity to concentrate their studies on such topics as cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing techniques, and green power. Additionally, they can complete up to 60 hours of college credit while still in high school.

Below are just some of the many awards that Dr. Jemison has received over her illustrious career.

Dr. Mae Jemison - First Black Woman Astronaut in Space

“Never limit yourself because of others' limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”


Honorary Doctorate of SciencesLincoln College, Pennsylvania 1991
Honorary Doctorate of LettersWinston Salem College, North Carolina 1991
Montgomery Fellow —Dartmouth College 1993


International Space Hall of Fame Inductee — 2004
National Women's Hall of Fame Inductee — 1993
Essence Award — 1988
Woman of the Year — Gamma Sigma Gamma 1989
Women's Intrepid Award — 2003
Kilby Science Award — 1993
DuSable Museum Award — 1992

Dr. Mae Jemison's vocal style is soft and lively, full of curiosity. It is playful, optimistic, and she presents this humility, even now, after everything she has achieved. When she speaks, it sounds like she is completely full of wonder and always having fun. We love that!

We believe that voices with such characteristics should have more representation in the world, whether it be human voice or digital. Today, organizations are thinking more about the power of voice in their communications and content. We help those organizations imagine the possibilities of a world in which digital voice matched the world of human voice.

Digital voice can be as dynamic, expressive, and representative of the world we hear around us — learn more about AI-Voice.


Cushy Sofa voices are defined as Soft, Deep, Breathy, and Nasal. Learn more about the unique characteristics that make up our voices and voice types here: VOCALiD Voice Types.

This is the twenty seventh in our Iconic Black Voices series. Make sure to come back to our blog every day this month as we highlight more iconic Black voices in celebration of Black History Month.

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Michelle Obama is one of the most dynamic first ladies in history. As the first Black first lady, she faced an immeasurable amount of public scutinty and she handled it all with grace, while also standing as a pilar of strength and a role model to not only young Black women, but all women when standing in the face of those who want to knock you down.

A lot has been written about her years in the White House, and to get a true sense of who Michelle Obama is, we highly recommend reading her memoir, Becoming. Please continue on for a brief overview of her career prior to the White House and what she's been up to since.

Michelle always had a confidence that was stronger than her disbelievers. When her high school teachers tried to dissuade her from following in her brother's path and enter Princeton University, telling her to avoid "setting my sights too high." She applied anyway, was accepted. Majoring in sociology and minoring in African-American studies, she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985. Read her thesis, done under Walter Wallace's direction, "Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community."

"If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's the power of using your voice."

Following her graduation from Harvard law school, then Michelle Robinson, began working as an associate at Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, specializing in marketing and intellectual property law. One summer she was asked to mentor a new summer associate. His name, Barack Obama. They would later marry in 1992.

She is the third first lady with a postgraduate degree, after her two immediate predecessors, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Obama is a fierce advocate for education, stating that her education gave her opportunities she could never have imagined.

She would go on to work in the local Chicago government, holding positions as Assistant to the Mayor, Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development, and then in 1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit organization encouraging young people to work on social issues in nonprofit groups and government agencies. She would later say that building Public Allies was one of her happiest professional moments up until that point.

As the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, Michelle Obama developed the University's Community Service Center. In 2002, she became the Executive Director for Community Affairs for the University of Chicago Hospitals and in 2005, she was promoted to Vice President for Community and External Affairs. She continued in this role until the end of 2008, when she would take a leave of absence after her husband's presidential win.

Mrs. Obama became known for her sense of humor and fun spirit while she was the first lady. One of her most passionate causes was nutritional health and fitness, which she promoted through her Let's Move campaign. To promote that, she engaged in some good-hearted fitness challenges against a variety of talk show hosts. Here are two of our favorites:

Michelle Obama's memoir, "Becoming," was released in November 2018, and within a year, she'd sold 11.5 million copies. In 2020 a Netflix documentary titled "Becoming" was released, which followed Michelle's 2018 book tour promoting the memoir.

She didn't stop with "Becoming." In July 2020, she launched a new project, "The Michelle Obama Podcast," which has received great reviews. And coming spring 2021 to Netflix is a new children's cooking show, "Waffle + Mochi."

"For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end."

As an author, speaker, and producer, Michelle Obama is a fiercely confident woman with a strong voice. She's equally as confident in her fashion choices. Her unique sense of style, which ranges from elegant to bold, has landed her on best-dressed lists worldwide and made her known as a fashion icon.

In 2016 NPR released a report discussing her effect as an influencer on the industry.

David Yermack, Professor of Finance, NYU's Stern School of Business, said, "So to put a number on it for just a generic company at a routine event, it was worth about $38 million to have Mrs. Obama wear your clothes." That is a fairly good impact.

"25 of the World's Most Inspiring Women" — Essence 2006
"10 of the World's Best Dressed People" — Vanity Fair 2007
'The Harvard 100' — 02134 Magazine 2007
International Best-Dressed List — Vanity Fair 2008
Best-Dressed Women — People 2008
Most Admired Woman — Gallup, Inc 2018, 2019, 2020
Woman of the Year — Time 2008
Grammy Award - Spoken Word Album, audiobook "Becoming" 1994

American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
— Crown Publishing 2012
Becoming — Crown Publishing 2018

Michelle Obama's vocal style is the voice of your favorite friend, that one who is always honest with you in the most loving and supportive way. Her voice is the one that will always be there at your door or on your phone when you need someone to light a fire under you or put one out. When we hear her voice, we hear kindness and empathy, humility, and joyful optimism. It also emanates warmth and curiosity. Her voice never sounds like it is talking at you; it feels like she is speaking with you. She is always connecting with her listener in a deeply personal way. We LOVE that.

Voice is everywhere today. Whether it is human voice or digital voice, the place that most fails is making that connection with the listener. Working in AI voice, we are constantly thinking about the power of voice and the need for all vocal styles and voice types to be represented in the world of digital voice. Voices with vocal characteristics such as Michelle Obama are not as common in the digital voices dominating the markets. We'd like to change that.

Imagine the possibilities if the world of digital voice matched the world of human voice. If it was as dynamic and expressive? If digital voices could engage you and make you feel inspired or heard? We think they can — learn more about AI-Voice.


Bowtie voices are defined as Soft, Deep, Modal, and Nasal. Learn more about the unique characteristics that make up our voices and voice types here: VOCALiD Voice Types

This is the twenty sixth in our Iconic Black Voices series. Make sure to come back to our blog every day this month as we highlight more iconic Black voices in celebration of Black History Month.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech is considered one of the 20th century's most unforgettable moments, but his path to becoming the face and leader of the civil rights movement in the United States wasn't always clear. In fact, it was accidental and more a matter of right place, right time.​

Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't planning to become involved in the civil rights movement, not to the degree he did. It was happenstance. At the time of Rosa Parks' arrest in Montgomery, King was a minister at a nearby Baptist Church. The busing boycott following her arrest was not his idea. Still, he decided to allow the organizers to use his church's basement for meetings.

The group called themselves the Montgomery Improvement Association and, to his surprise, elected him their spokesperson and president and gave him only 20 minutes to write a speech for a mass meeting held that evening at a neighboring congregation, the Holt Street Baptist Church. Five thousand Black citizens of Montgomery showed up at the meeting. Fighting his way through the crowd, into the church, he would deliver possibly one of his greatest speeches, securing his place in the front of the movement.

He became known for his advocation of non-violent direction action and gained friends and allies who would help him do the work he had come to do. The singer and fellow activist Harry Belafonte become a great family friend who would act as a benefactor, supporting King's family so that he could continue to do the important work of the civil rights movement, despite a preacher salary that was only $8k a year.

Despite Belafonte being blacklisted for his support of King, he continued to help. During the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, Belafonte raised $50k to bail King and other civil rights protestors out of Birmingham City Jail. He also helped organize the 1963 March on Washington to advocate for Black Americans' civil and economic rights. It was here that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic speech — "I Have a Dream," with the Lincoln Memorial behind him.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. "

King also became dear friends with Maya Angelou. After attending a speech of his in Harlem, she'd become deeply involved with the Civil Rights Movement in 1960. So inspired, she organized the Cabaret for Freedom. She would become both a fundraiser and the Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a Black Civil Rights organization led by Dr. King.

She'd married a freedom fighter and moved to Africa for several years. After her divorce, she moved back to the United States to help their friend Malcom X, who unfortunately was assassinated shortly after. Sometime later, Dr. King asked her to get involved and help organize a march for him in April 1968; however, she needed to postpone. They wouldn't speak again, as, on the day of her 40th birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be assassinated.

Following the news of his assassination, There are riots and disturbances in 130 American cities resulting in over twenty thousand arrests. King's funeral on April 9 was an international event. Within a week of the assassination, the Fair Housing Act was passed by Congress.

After his death, he would continue to inspire others to commit themselves to change—people such as renowned physicist Shirley Ann Jackson. After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., she would help organize a group of African-American students that would become MIT's Black Student Union, helping to change the face of MIT, and to advocate for minority faculty and students for years to come.

On October 16th, 2011, President Barack Obama dedicated the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C., "For this day, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s return to the National Mall. In this place, he will stand for all time, among monuments to those who fathered this nation and those who defended it; a black preacher with no official rank or title who somehow gave voice to our deepest dreams and our most lasting ideals, a man who stirred our conscience and thereby helped make our union more perfect. And Dr. King would be the first to remind us that this memorial is not for him alone."


Doctor of Humane Letters — Morehouse College
Doctor of Laws — Howard University
Doctor of Divinity — Chicago Theological Seminary
Doctor of Laws — Morgan State College
Doctor of Humanities — Central State College
Doctor of Divinity — Boston University
Doctor of Laws — Lincoln University
Doctor of Laws — University of Bridgeport
Doctor of Civil Laws — Bard College
Doctor of Letters — Keuka College
Doctor of Divinity — Wesleyan College
Doctor of Laws — Jewish Theological Seminary
Doctor of Laws — Yale University
Doctor of Divinity — Springfield College
Doctor of Laws — Hofstra University
Doctor of Human Letters — Oberlin College
Doctor of Social Science — Amsterdam Free University
Doctor of Divinity — St. Peter's College
Doctor of Civil Law — University of New Castle Upon Tyne
Doctor of Laws — Grinnell College


Who's Who in America — 1957
Most Outstanding Personalities of The Year — Time 1957
Spingarn Medal — NAACP 1957
Russwurm Award — National Newspaper Publishers 1957

Second Annual Achievement AwardGuardian Association of the Police Department of New York 1958
Man of the Year — Time 1963
American of the Decade — Laundry, Dry Cleaning, and Die Workers International Union 1963
John Dewey Award — United Federation of Teachers 1964
John F. Kennedy Award — Catholic Interracial Council of Chicago 1964
Nobel Peace Prize — 1964 (youngest man to receive the award)
Marcus Garvey Prize for Human RightsJamaican Government 1968
Rosa L. Parks Award — Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1968
Presidential Medal of Freedom — 1977 (posthumous)
Dr. Martin Luther King Day Declared Federal Holiday — 1983 (posthumous)

Dr. Martin Luther King's had full command of his voice and knew how to use it. His vocal style had a quiet, almost gentleness, but it commanded your attention with this focused intensity. When amplified, it became impossible to focus on anything else but his words and passion. His voice was an inspiration, a motivation, and a passionate plea to action. There is no wonder how he became the leader of the civil rights movement, the spokesperson.

We believe that everyone has a voice, and all voices should have representation in the world. Whether it be human voice or digital, the voices that we interact with should sound like the voices surrounding us. Today, organizations are thinking more about the power of voice in their communications and content. We help those organizations imagine the possibilities of a world in which digital voice matched the world of human voice.

Digital voice can be as dynamic, expressive, and representative of the world we hear around us — learn more about AI-Voice.


Steam voices are defined as Soft, High, Breathy, and Nasal. Learn more about the unique characteristics that make up our voices and voice types here: VOCALiD Voice Types.

This is the twenty fifth in our Iconic Black Voices series. Make sure to come back to our blog every day this month as we highlight more iconic Black voices in celebration of Black History Month.

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By the age of five, Wilma Rudolph battled pneumonia, scarlet fever, and infantile paralysis from the poliovirus. While she recovered from all, she suffered a loss of strength in her left leg and foot and wore a leg brace until she was twelve years old.​

Rudolph set many records in Rome. Wilma not only became the first woman to win three Gold medals at the Olympics, but she became the first American woman to win a gold medal in the 100-meter race since 1936. During her opening heat of the 200-meter dash, she set an Olympic record of 23.2 seconds. In 110 °F, her relay team won the 4x100-meter with a world record of 44.4 seconds in the semifinals.

At 20-years old, Wilma Rudolph quickly emerged as one of the most popular athletes of the 1960 Olympics. After Rudolph's wins, she became known throughout the world as "the fastest woman in history" and the "fastest woman on earth." The French nicknamed her "La Perle Noire," and the Italians called her "La Gazzella Nera."

Once Wilma realized her dream to become the most famous runner in the world, she was having difficulty finding her motivation to continue her athletic career. During a race at Stanford University, Russia vs. the United States, Ms. Rudolph made a decision.

Ms. Rudolph's team was running behind Russia in the relay race. Her team grew further behind. As the race continued, she told herself that if she could catch the Russian runner, who was much further ahead, Wilma knew that she would again make history. If she could do that, catch the Russian, she'd retire from running. However, if she didn't catch her, she would continue to run for the next four years until the Tokyo Olympics.

Wilma Rudolph ran the fastest single race of her career, passed the Russian runner, and won the race. As she received a standing ovation in her own country, she thought that it was the grandest moment of her career. So she retired that day and said that she never regretted that decision.

First American woman to win three Olympic gold medals.​

“The triumph can't be had without the struggle. And I know what struggle is. I have spent a lifetime trying to share what it has meant to be a woman first in the world of sports so that other young women have a chance to reach their dreams."


Bronze medal 4 X 100-meter relay — Olympic Games, Melbourne, Australia 1956
World record 200-meter race —Olympic Trials, Texas Christian University 1960
Gold medal 100-meter dash — Olympic Games, Rome, Italy 1960
Gold medal 200-meter dash — Olympic Games, Rome, Italy 1960
Gold medal 4x100-meter relay — Olympic Games, Rome, Italy 1960


Sullivan Award — 1961
Female Athlete of the Year Award — Associated Press 1961
Babe Didrikson Zaharias Award — 1962
Black Athletes Hall of Fame Inductee — 1973
National Track and Field Hall of Fame Inductee — 1974
Women's Sports Foundation Hall of Fame Inductee — 1980
U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Inductee — 1983
Silver Anniversary Award — National Collegiate Athletic Association 1987
National Sports Awards "Great Ones" — 1993

Wilma Rudolph's vocal style was as confident and focused as she was. Despite difficulties, it remained soft, hopeful, and full of optimism. It always sounded like it was filled with appreciation for all she felt blessed to have. We love the joy that emanates when she spoke.

We believe that voices with such characteristics should have more representation in the world, whether it be human voice or digital. Today, organizations are thinking more about the power of voice in their communications and content. We help those organizations imagine the possibilities of a world in which digital voice matched the world of human voice.

Digital voice can be as dynamic, expressive, and representative of the world we hear around us — learn more about AI-Voice.


Cushy Sofa voices are defined as Soft, Deep, Breathy, and Nasal. Learn more about the unique characteristics that make up our voices and voice types here: VOCALiD Voice Types.

This is the twenty fourth in our Iconic Black Voices series. Make sure to come back to our blog every day this month as we highlight more iconic Black voices in celebration of Black History Month.

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Shirley Ann Jackson earned her place in the history books early on, often being the first Black woman to reach a particular milestone in her field. In the nearly fifty years since she graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics, she has held senior leadership roles in academia, government, industry, and research. Today she's Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's 18th President, the first Black or woman President at RPI, and the first African American woman to lead a top-ranked research university.

As a young child, Shirley's mother would often read to her. One of the most notable books was the biography of African-American scientist and mathematician Benjamin Banneker. With her parents' encouragement of her interests in math and science, she excelled in school.

In 1964, Ms. Jackson graduated as the valedictorian of her public high school in Washington, D.C. Just months later; she began her undergraduate studies at MIT. Upon arrival at MIT, Shirley quickly realized that she was one of few Black students. Her fellow students were not welcoming, even telling her to "go away" when she approached them in class.

Due to her ostracization, her undergraduate studies were isolating, and she didn't feel particularly welcomed. Yet, despite being accepted into doctoral programs at Brown, Harvard, and the University of Chicago, she chose to continue her doctoral work at MIT. Part of her motivation for this decision was that she "wasn't going to give people the satisfaction of getting me to walk away." She kept her head down, focusing on her studies until something happened to make her look up. She realized that she could help change things for minority students at MIT.

After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Shirley Jackson would help organize a group of African-American students that would become MIT's Black Student Union. They approached MIT with their proposals for recruiting minority students and faculty, offering minority students greater financial support, and improving their lives at MIT. Later that year, MIT appointed a Task Force on Educational Opportunity to achieve those goals set out by the Black Student Union and asked Jackson to serve on it.

Shirley traveled around the country that fall in an attempt to help MIT recruit minority students. The average Black freshman enrollment at MIT had held steady each year at around three to five students. However, in 1969, one year after Ms. Jackson and the task force began their initiative, 57 Black freshmen enrolled. Shirley then created a summer program, which she also taught at, called Project Interphase, which helped acclimate incoming minority freshmen to MIT. The program, now called Interphase EDGE, is still being offered, and to date, more than 2,000 students have taken part.

Shirley Jackson officially became Dr. Jackson in 1973. Her thesis, "The Study of a Multiperipheral Model with Continued Cross-Channel Unitarity," with direction from James Young, the first African-American tenured full professor in the physics department at MIT, was published in Annals of Physics in 1975. Dr. Jackson would then do her postdoc at Fermilab, the national lab specializing in high-energy particle physics. In 1976, she accepted a position at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, where she switched research areas and focused on the electronic properties of two-dimensional condensed matter systems. Her research at Bell enabled breakthroughs in the development of the portable fax, solar cells, fiber optic cables, and caller ID, and call waiting.

Her career has been a fascinating one, and we do encourage you to read more about her and her work, as we can't unpack the breadth of her impact here. Learn more about Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson's ​career.

"Do not let others define who you are. Define yourself. Do not be limited by what others expect of you, but reach confidently for the stars."

Photo by Drew Angerer

The following is only a partial list of the professional recognitions that Shirley Ann Jackson has received over her illustrious career that has spanned nearly 50 years. In addition to her PhD from MIT, she has received an additional 55 honorary doctorates.

Outstanding Young Women of America — 1976
Outstanding Young Women of America — 1981
Candace Award for Technology — National Coalition of 100 Black Women 1982
Thomas Alva Edison Award — New Jersey Governor's Award in Science 1993 National Women's Hall of Fame — 1998
Women in Technology International Foundation Hall of Fame — 2000
Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Academia — National Society of Black Engineers 2000
100 Women of Excellence —Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce & Women's Business Council 2000
Immortal Award —15th Annual Black History Makers Awards 2000
Black Engineer of the Year — US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine 2000
Richtmyer Memorial Award — American Association of Physics Teachers 2001
Top 50 women in Science — Discover 2002
50 of The Most Inspiring African Americans — Essence 2002
"50 R&D stars to watch" — Industry Week magazine 2002
Community Citizenship Award — Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (TRIP) 2006
President's Award — American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2006
Vannevar Bush Award — National Science Board 2007
Impact Award — AARP The Magazine 2007
Golden Plate Award — American Academy of Achievement 2007 Women in Science Role Model Award — L'Oreal USA 2008
Ralph Coats Roe Medal — American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2008
Bouchet Leadership Award Medal — Yale University 2009
Dr. John Hope Franklin Award — Diverse Issues in Higher Education Magazine 2009
Women of Power Legacy Award — Black Enterprise Magazine 2010
Philip Hauge Abelson Award — American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011
America Competes Award — U.S. Council on Competitiveness 2012
New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame (NJIHoF) Inductee — 2013
Trustees Award — NJIHoF 2013
STEM Leadership Hall of Fame — U.S. News 2014
Tech Valley Business Hall of Fame Inductee —2014
Alice H. Parker Award — New Jersey Chamber of Commerce 2015
National Medal of Science for Physical Science — 2016
W.E.B. DuBois Medal—Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University 2018
Burton Award — Forum on Physics Society 2019

Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Fellow
American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering
American Physical Society Fellow
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology — 1985
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
— 2009
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
American Philosophical Society
Council on Foreign Relations
American Association for the Advancement of Science
National Science Foundation
American Association for the Advancement of Science
(President & Chair)
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (Chair)

Jackson's vocal style is commanding, no-nonsense, but approachable. It is trustworthy and patient. Whether she is speaking to her students and alumni at RPI or her capacity as a government advisor, her calm and confident speaking style earns her all attention. It isn't just the words she is saying but also the message her voice is sending subliminally, making her voice so powerful. We love that!

Whether using voice actors or digital voices, organizations are thinking more about the power of voice in their communications and content. We help those organizations imagine the possibilities of a world in which digital voice matched the world of human voice. Digital voice can be as dynamic, expressive, and representative of the world we hear around us. — learn more about AI-Voice.


Brook voices are defined as Soft, Deep, Modal, and Oral. Learn more about the unique characteristics that make up our voices and voice types here: VOCALiD Voice Types.

This is the twenty third in our Iconic Black Voices series. Make sure to come back to our blog every day this month as we highlight more iconic Black voices in celebration of Black History Month.

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Prince Rogers Nelson, The Kid, The Artist, Prince. He was simply a once-in-a-lifetime artist. His unfortunate accidental death in 2016 left a void in the musical world. Like Bowie and Michael Jackson, he was a unicorn, a musical icon unlike anyone else. He changed the soundtrack of life.

Logically, Prince would have inherited some musical talent. Born to a jazz singer, his mother Mattie Della, and a pianist and songwriter, his father John Lewis Nelson, Prince began playing music at 7-years old. Quickly it became apparent that he was unique, and he wasn't merely a singer or guitarist or songwriter. Prince literally could do it all. He was a virtuoso, a musical polyglot. Seamlessly fluent in any instrument he put his mind to, he could dissect it and then reach heights with it that shocked his audiences.

At 20-years old, he released his first album, "For You." Prince is credited with performing every instrument on it, all vocals, and all songwriting. The credits go on to list 27 instruments, including moogs, piano, and various percussion and strings. He would release 39 studio albums, 103 singles, dozens of compilations, live albums, etc. He also made 152 music videos AND penned songs for several other artists, including; Cyndi Lauper, Patti LaBelle, Paula Abdul, Kate Bush, Ani Difranco, NoDoubt, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe, and others.

His musical style was unlike anything people were accustomed to hearing; his shows just as awe-inducing. He took inspiration from everywhere and everyone. Prince would weave elements of funk, R&B, Latin, country, rock, new wave, classical, soul, synth-pop, psychedelia, pop, jazz, industrial, and hip hop into his work —creating something special and otherworldly. He is considered one of his generation's greatest musicians by critics, peers, and fans worldwide.

Below is one of our favorite interviews from 1999. Airing shortly after Prince had changed his name to a symbol, he and the late Larry King discuss his career, the name change, and more:

Prince may have been soft-spoken and mysterious, but his fashion sense was NOT shy. Check out some of his most iconic looks in this spread by Harpers Bazaar.

Prince appeared in five musical films during his career. Throughout his career, Prince historically refused guest appearance requests, except in a few select cases. When Muppets Tonight approached him, he surprisingly agreed, appearing on Sept. 13, 1997. It gives you a small glimpse into his silly side, we hope you enjoy it:

His next guest appearance was one he initiated himself in 2014. Prince was a fan of the television show 'New Girl' and decided that he'd like to appear on it. He had his manager call Zooey Deschanel, letting her know, which surprised her because she'd never considered Prince would be a fan of the show. His cameo once again demonstrated his signature deadpan sense of humor. We particularly like the credits, where we get to see him playing ping pong with one of the cast members.

"I’ve grown up, everyone’s got to grow up. But there’s something inside me, I’m always going to have that little sort of – how do you say? – child streak."

Prince was known for his incredibly quirky sense of humor and his love of ping pong. Shortly after Prince passed away, Jimmy Fallon and Questlove told some stories of their times with Prince. The funniest one — a late-night Ping Pong challenge that had Fallon ditching his friends at dinner to race across NYC to meet Prince because he wanted to play against him. Watch the video below:

He'd toured 29 times during his four-decade-long career - a tour nearly every year and virtually non-stop from 1979 until 2016. His performances were quite physical — he'd been an athlete, having played football, basketball, and baseball in junior and senior high school. He'd also trained in classical ballet.

His live show choreography frequently included acrobatics while wearing boots with 5" heels. While this was breathtaking to witness, his onstage athleticism took its toll on Prince's body, particularly his hips and knees. By the mid-1990s, those injuries had turned into chronic pain, something he'd been actively trying to manage at the time of his accidental death.

In the early 1980's Prince was one of the few Black artists to receive heavy rotation at MTV, something David Bowie had famously taken MTV to task over. Prince sold over 150 million records worldwide, ranking him among the best-selling music artists of all time. Below are some of the recognitions he received:


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame —2004
UK Music Hall of Fame — 2006
Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame — 2016


President's Merit Awards — 28th Grammy Awards 1986
American Music Award for Achievement — American Music Awards 1990
American Music Award of Merit — American Music Awards 1995
Billboard Icon Award — Billboard Music Awards 2013


Doctor of Humane Letters — University of Minnesota 2016 (posthumously)


He won 7 Grammy Awards, 7 Brit Awards, 6 American Music Awards, 4 MTV Video Music Awards, an Academy Award (for Best Original Song Score for the film Purple Rain), and a Golden Globe Award.

Two of his albums, Purple Rain (1984) and Sign o' the Times (1987), received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year nominations.
The albums 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign o' the Times have all been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The film Purple Rain was preserved in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," by the Library of Congress in 2019.

Shortly before he died in 2016, Prince had said that he was working on a memoir. Fortunately, his co-writer had been able to compile enough interviews before his passing to complete the project. Released in October 2019, The Beautiful Ones became a #1 New York Times Bestseller. At the time of his death, his home in Minneapolis contained a vault of unreleased material, including dozens of fully produced albums and over 50 music videos. While it is ultimately up to his estate, perhaps we haven't heard the last of Prince Rogers Nelson just yet.

His voice could be everything; his singing style, of course, was so different from his speaking voice. His regular voice had the loveliest characteristics. Prince's vocal style had this soft gentleness that drew you in. Almost hypnotic, but not monotone at all. Expressive, with depth and emotion, yet very calm and confident and measured. Listening to him speak was engrossing — you would get lost in it.

I would have loved to have been able to have Prince narrating my life for me, especially on those days when anxiety levels are high. Imagine on those days, being able to change all the digital voices in your life — your car, smart speakers, apps, everything, to a voice with similar characteristics as Prince. People would be so much happier!

Unfortunately, we can't change all the digital voices in our lives to match our mood ... yet. Additionally, voice styles such as Prince's haven't been represented in the digital voices dominating the markets. But, imagine if the world of digital voice matched the world of human voice. If it was as dynamic and expressive? More representative? More personalized?!

Guess what; digital voice can be truly representative — learn more about AI-Voice.


Cocoa voices are defined as Soft, Deep, Modal, and Oral. Learn more about the unique characteristics that make up our voices and voice types here: VOCALiD Voice Types.

This is the twenty second in our Iconic Black Voices series and a special edition in honor of Presidents Day. Make sure to come back to our blog every day this month as we highlight more iconic Black voices in celebration of Black History Month.

Spread the word