Home Health A Voice Bank is born, with artificial intelligence for ALS patients – Healthcare

A Voice Bank is born, with artificial intelligence for ALS patients – Healthcare

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A Voice Bank is born, with artificial intelligence for ALS patients – Healthcare


Donate your voice to people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to give them back the ability to communicate with an artificial voice with human expressiveness, all thanks to artificial intelligence. The international project ‘Voice for purpose – Let’s give voice to ALS’ starts from Italy, i.e. the creation of a real ‘voice bank’ which brings together the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, NeMO Clinical Centres, Nemo Lab, Translated and Dream On. Together to enable people with vocal impairments to use an expressive voice.

The initiative was presented today in the presence of the Minister of Health and the Health Directorate of the European Commission, under the aegis of the Italian Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (Aisla). Born from an intuition of Pino Insegno, actor and voice actor, the project aims to give life to a ‘voice bank’ with a double value: on the one hand it will allow people who have lost their speech to choose an expressive voice among all those that will be donated by people from all over the world; on the other, it will allow you to ‘save’ your voice, by recording it. Possibilities that will be accessible to all those who still have the ability to speak, so that in the future no one will be forced to speak with a metallic voice when the disease affects it.

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The project therefore aims to create the conditions for every person with ALS to access a Voice Banking service to preserve their voice and benefit from the use of personal or donated speech synthesis, when verbal communication is only possible with the aid of and Augmentative-Alternative Communication (ACA) technology devices. This in order to maintain its identity also with the help of AAC technologies, which are currently supplied through the National Health System with a standard robotic and metallic vocal synthesis. Anyone can donate their voice to those who don’t keep it and, to date, there are already 250 voices donated. When creating their profile on the ‘Voice For Purpose’ platform, the donor will be asked to register their voice by reading a short message. The potential donor will then be contacted only when selected by a person who needs to acquire a donated speech synthesis.

Currently, the scientific hospitalization and treatment institutes (IRCCS) “account for about 1,000 hospitalizations a year” for ALS and “1,500 outpatient visits, and in recent decades the contribution of Italian researchers and clinicians has been significant, however much remains to be done for people affected by ALS and for their families who bear a heavy burden of assistance, particularly in some regional and local realities where difficulties remain in the provision of social and health services. Disparities that must be overcome”. The Minister of Health said, Horace Schillaciat the presentation of the project. “We must continue to strengthen support for research and increase responses to people’s needs; regaining one’s voice – underlined Schillaci – for an ALS patient means inclusion and not losing one’s social interactions.

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“Normally a person puts in the bank what he owns and doesn’t want to give to anyone. He does it to keep it safe and to prevent someone from stealing it. This project goes in the diametrically opposite direction: a ‘voice bank’ is created to giving something of oneself to the other. And what we decide to give is something very personal: the voice”. So the premier Giorgia Meloni in a video message at the press conference to present the “Voce alla SLA” project. “It’s a bit like giving a piece of ourselves to someone who has lost that piece of self to illness

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