Apple patents system that reads iMessages in a sender's voice


Posts: 8,797   +110
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Forward-looking: Apple has filed a patent that could allow an iMessage to be read aloud in the sender's own voice, which would be an improvement over other methods of creating audible messages, such as sending audio recordings or using Siri to speak the text.

AppleInsider spotted the patent, titled Personalized Voices for Text Messaging. Filed on October 25, 2022, it describes a voice model that is provided to a second electronic device. "In some examples, a message is received from a respective user of a second electronic device," reads the patent.

Essentially, the system would involve an iMessage user choosing to attach a voice file, which would be stored on their device, when sending a text to someone. If the sender chooses to do so, the recipient would then have the option of hearing the message read aloud in the sender's voice. "Based on the voice model, an audio output corresponding to the received message is provided," the patent explains.

The iPhone receiving the message could build a profile of the person's voice and simulate it when reading the message and all new correspondence from the same sender. Someone could even send their voice model before delivering the first message in preparation for their messages to be read in their voice.

Being able to hear messages in the sender's voice might not seem like the most pressing technical advancement, but it would likely be welcomed by older family members and partners/spouses who want to hear loved ones' messages spoken aloud as if they were in the same room.

The patent's inventors are Qiong Hu, who formerly worked on Siri; Jiangchuan Li, a senior Siri software engineer for machine learning at Apple; and David A. Winarsky, Apple's director of text-to-speech technology. As with all patents, there's no guarantee this one will end up becoming an actual feature, but Apple's recent voice AI-related acquisitions and endeavors suggest it will happen.

News of the patent comes soon after Apple launched its new program to sell audiobooks with AI-based voiceovers. It's causing anger among voice actors as Findaway Voices, an audiobook distributor, gave Apple permission to use its audiobook files to train the machine learning model employed for Cupertino's audiobooks program.

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Posts: 59   +72
Yeah... nope.

Perfect way of collecting voiceprints, even with the best of intentions, which would likely be leaked. This is exactly what is needed to have some kind of 'AI' translate every persons voice into digital to make them say something they never said. Add Deep fakes to this and you've got the perfect storm. No thanks. Theres enough of this rubbish around already, don't need more.
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Posts: 296   +172
The "best" patent is something that is easy to think about but hard to avoid.

The patent system is supposed to be a system to encourage innovation and creativity, but in practice it has unfortunately been reduced to a method of poisoning competition.

Which competition is usually the only thing that spurs innovation, leading to better product quality, lower prices and more creative jobs.

The next step is to patent the fruit bite. Nobody can think of it on their own, because it’s “obvious” that the logo has taught everyone how to do it.


Posts: 1,585   +1,142
Creepy AF

reminds me off people with extensive personal diaries - I ask them if they photocopy them - the few I asked said no - as the copy would have no soul.

What's next - tick the AI box to help explain my reasons in convo ?