Film critic Roger Ebert, who lost the ability to speak after a series of cancer-related surgeries, is now able to “talk” again, using a computer voice simulator designed by a Scottish company called CereProc. Ebert worked with CereProc to transform past recordings of his voice — primarily DVD commentaries — into a program that will allow him to regain his “voice.” He plans to debut “Roger Jr.” on this Tuesday’s Oprah Winfrey Show, where he’ll give his Oscar predictions.
In his blog for the Chicago Sun-Times today, Ebert wrote, “They transcribed and programmed and tweaked and fiddled, and early this February, sent me the files for a beta version of my voice. I played it for [his wife] Chaz, and she said, yes, she could tell it was me. For one thing it knew exactly how I said ‘I.'”
Ebert was profiled in this month’s extraordinary Esquire cover story.