Ep 152: Turning Snoop Dogg’s Voice Into AI – The Speechify Story

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Join the discussion: Ask Cliff and Jordan questions about AI text-to-speech

Upcoming Episodes: Check out the upcoming Everyday AI Livestream lineup

Connect with Cliff Weitzman: LinkedIn Profile

More on Speechify: Speechify.com

Related Episodes

Overview

In the fast-paced world of business, effective communication plays a crucial role in driving success. But what if there was a way to transform the way we communicate, making it more efficient, engaging, and accessible? On today's episode of the Everyday AI podcast, the power of AI-generated voices was discussed, highlighting a groundbreaking technology that has the potential to revolutionize business communication. In this article, we explore the insights shared in the episode and delve into the transformative possibilities that AI-generated voices offer for businesses of all sizes.

Enhancing Accessibility and Multitasking Capabilities

With the advent of AI-generated voices, businesses can now leverage technologies like Speechify to convert text into high-quality, natural-sounding audio. This innovation eliminates the need for lengthy reading sessions and allows professionals to access important information on-the-go, making multitasking a breeze. Imagine being able to absorb educational material, industry reports, and business updates while commuting, exercising, or even working on other tasks. AI-generated voices open up a world of possibilities by enhancing accessibility and providing users with a flexible and efficient communication tool.

Improving Learning and Retention

One of the key insights shared in the podcast episode was how AI-generated voices can significantly improve learning experiences. By customizing voices and even using familiar voices, such as colleagues or loved ones, businesses can create a personalized and engaging audio environment. For individuals with learning differences, such as dyslexia, these voices can aid in improving decoding skills and sight reading. Furthermore, the ability to adjust the speed of the speech allows for optimal comprehension and retention of information. Businesses can leverage these features to enhance training programs, onboard new employees, or disseminate important company updates.

Expanding the Reach of Content

In an ever-connected world, communication knows no borders. AI-generated voices offer the ability to bridge language barriers by converting text into audio in over 80 languages and counting. This opens up a wealth of opportunities for businesses to expand their global reach and cater to diverse audiences. Additionally, the ability to customize voices for audiobooks and other content allows businesses to provide a unique and immersive experience for their users. By leveraging AI-generated voices, companies can effectively disseminate information, improve customer engagement, and strengthen their brand presence.

Safeguarding Authenticity and AI Ethics

While the benefits of AI-generated voices are vast, the podcast episode also emphasized the importance of protecting authenticity and addressing ethical concerns. Businesses must be vigilant in verifying the authenticity of audio and video content to prevent scams and identity theft. Speechify, for example, has implemented safety measures to detect and prevent the cloning of voices from random internet sources. This commitment to safety and ethics ensures that businesses can leverage this technology responsibly.

Conclusion

This episode of the Everyday AI podcast shed light on the transformative power of AI-generated voices and their impact on business communication. With Speechify leading the way in this field, businesses now have access to a tool that enhances accessibility, improves learning experiences, and expands the reach of their content. As technology continues to evolve, it's vital for businesses to stay informed about the latest AI advancements and harness their potential to drive growth, productivity, and inclusivity. By embracing AI-generated voices, businesses can navigate a new era of efficient, engaging, and accessible communication.


Topics Covered in This Episode

1. Speechify's features and applications
2. Practical uses of Speechify
3. Concerns and precautions regarding AI-generated voices
4. Text-to-speech advancements and future prospects


Podcast Transcript

Jordan Wilson [00:00:16]:

Is the future of generative AI where we have Celebrities just do our talking for us. Maybe. You know? Will will Snoop Dogg be doing this intro, for the everyday AI podcast someday. I don't know. But we're gonna talk about what the future of of text to speech In generative AI looks like with someone who's really helped building that future. So thanks for joining us. If you're new here, my name's Jordan. This is Everyday AI.

Daily AI news


Jordan Wilson [00:00:46]:

Everyday AI is a daily livestream podcast, free daily newsletter helping everyday people like you and me Not just learn what's going on in the generative AI space, but how we can all actually use it, how we can leverage it to grow our companies and and grow our careers. So, very excited for today's show. But before we get into it, let's do what we always do and go over the AI news. So Speaking of text to speech, ChatGPT just rolled out, ChatGPT voice to all users, including free users. Yes. Those of you who still aren't paying $20 a month for chat gbt, you get a new feature. So, chat gbt voice, if you haven't used it yet, like I said, it was just released to all users, over the long holiday weekend here in the US, but, it essentially allows you to have a conversation with ChatGPT. So think of like a Siri Or like an Alexa, but something that actually gets it right on the back end.

Jordan Wilson [00:01:40]:

I don't know if, about you guys, but, man, since these other Gen AI models have come out, especially text to speech ones, Siri and and Alexa just really don't do the job for me anymore. So, if you haven't checked that out, make sure to go check it out. Next, Samsung is going all in on AI hardware. So we did report this earlier this month about the new Galaxy S 20 4 Could be the 1st major market smartphone with AI baked into the hardware. So recent filings from Samsung that were just reported on today Seem to signal that this is more than just a rumor and it's actually happening. So, Samsung recently filed for trademarks including AI phone and AI smartphone showing that they're willing to fight for that trademark. This is all kind of tied to their new Samsung Gauss AI platform, so their own and Large language model that they are, reportedly going to be debuting in an actual smartphone. That's right.

Jordan Wilson [00:02:33]:

You don't have to have a a supercomputer. It is apparently coming to your actual device. So the s 24 is supposed to be the 1st, device with this new technology, and it is, slated to be released, in 2024. Last but not least, companies are hiring Gen AI talent at shocking numbers. So a recent study from the research firm, Lightcast, and Show that there have been more than 10,000 job postings specifically for generative AI. Not like one of those bullet points that are, you know, in a long list of bullet points, but and Specific Gen AI roles. So, we'll link to this in the newsletter as we always do, but the top, 9 firms hiring the most generative AI talent include, Chegg, Meta, Capital One, Pacific Northwest Lab, Amazon, Accenture, NVIDIA, Scale AI, and Cornerstone on Demand. So if you are looking for a a new role specifically for Gen AI, some of those companies might be worth checking out.

About Cliff and Speechify


Jordan Wilson [00:03:31]:

So, as as we always do, there's there's much more news in today's newsletter. So make sure if you haven't already, go to your everyday AI.com. Sign up for that free daily newsletter. But but right now, I kinda wanna talk Snoop Dogg. Right? I I I I also wanna talk text to speech. But it's not just me. I'm I'm very, very excited to have on today's show, and please help me welcome bring him on here. There we go.

Jordan Wilson [00:03:55]:

We have, Cliff Weitzman, who is the founder and CEO of Speechify. Cliff, thank you so much for joining us.

Cliff Weitzman [00:04:01]:

Of course, Jordan. Glad to be with you.

Jordan Wilson [00:04:03]:

Alright. So tell us maybe a little bit. If if you haven't heard of Speechify, FYI, I'm not sure how because it is, the the the number one text to speech app, in the world, and it has, man, more than a 100,005 star reviews, and it's ranking, in 1st place in the App Store for the news and magazine category. Wow. Cliff, so tell us a little bit, about the Speechify app and what it is, what it does.

Cliff Weitzman [00:04:27]:

Yeah. So, I'm super dyslexic. And when I was in university, I found that, most audiobooks most textbooks did not have an audiobook, and so I ended up building a series of narrow applications of deep learning. This is back in 2016, 2015 That would do text to speech at a really high quality level. And I then, created a series of other algorithms that did, optical character, mission really well, natural language processing really well. So you could take any PDF, and it would turn it into an audiobook for you. You could take a picture of a physical book, and it will read that to you. You can open your emails, It'll get to you.

Cliff Weitzman [00:04:58]:

You can open New York Times, Medium, Wall Street Journal. It would read those things. So the app has now been the number one app in this category for about three and a half years on Ios, For about 3 years on Google Chrome, it's got about 25,000,000 people who use it. And the goal is to make sure the reading is never there to lend for anyone no matter what your background is.

Jordan Wilson [00:05:16]:

You know, I wanna pull out a couple things there. 1, 25,000,000 users. Right? That's insane. How did like, what was your response, Cliff? Right? Because it sounds like you kinda built this originally with with yourself in mind being dyslexic and not being able to read. I mean, what does it feel like now To, you know, have that thing that was built originally for you turn into something that literally tens of millions of people around the world are using.

Cliff Weitzman [00:05:42]:

Yeah. So there's a long history of tools that are built for people with, disabilities or learning differences going mainstream. Like, the best example is, Edison was famously deaf predominantly, and is the, has the patent for recorded sound. And so the telephone is a great example of this. Text to speech is another great example. So text to speech has been around since the 1962. It just was never good. And so I moved to the US when I was 13.

Cliff Weitzman [00:06:08]:

I learned English from Harry Potter audiobooks, And I really wanted to have a way of being able to listen more easily. And so initially, I made it for me and people like me who have dyslexia, ADHD, low vision, autism, incussions, anxiety, second language learners, and you can see how those concentric circles kinda expanded out. Today, you're right. The majority of users don't have a learning differences. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, people in the military, executives, people in finance. I think the 1st, like, 4 years out of those predominantly people who had learning differences. But at a certain point around, like, 2021, we had this huge crossing of the CASA because the quality of the voices started to get really good As well as the quality of the OCR and the natural language processing.

Jordan Wilson [00:06:48]:

Mhmm. And, hey, if you are late joining us to the show, that's alright. It's it's Monday morning, but we have, Cliff, the and Founder and CEO from Speechify joining us. So make sure you get your questions in. That's a different, little different thing that we do here at Everyday AI is you can ask questions From the people who are helping to to build and shape the future of generative AI. Yeah. I wanna get to to some of the juicy stuff, Cliff, because right away, right, when, you you go to the Speechify website, and I'm gonna I'm gonna try to bring it up here. And if you are listening on the podcast, don't worry.

Celebrity AI voices and Speechify


Jordan Wilson [00:07:16]:

You can always go and, check out the show notes. You can kind of, you know, join us after the fact. But, real quick, you know, Snoop Dogg. Right? So you have all of these different voices that you can use in in you know, Gwyneth Paltrow, Snoop Dogg, Mr. Beast. How does this actually work, number 1, and and what can, you know, end users use, all of this text to speech for?

Cliff Weitzman [00:07:39]:

Yeah. So the way that all those partnerships came together for us is typically as people who use the product themselves who will reach out. So We had Snoop Dogg's agent reach out and be like, hey. You know, Snoop has this amazing, persona and voice, and he wants to be able to use it to help His audience consume information. And so I ended up going to his house and recorded him in his studio for a couple hours. And then the way that, and Deep learning works in general as you take millions of hours of high quality audio, and you build models that are super efficient. And then you can either fine tune them, with either zero shot cloning, or you can go more deep. And so we made, you know, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th iterations Snoop's voice until it came out really, really good.

Cliff Weitzman [00:08:21]:

With Gwen, she was a long term investor in Speechify. Her husband, Brad, like me, is dyslexic, and over dinner, he suggested, hey. You know, it would be great If I could have my wife read out all my, all my scripts to me, and we were like, oh, that's really easy. And then Jimmy and I met at a party, I think, like, 3, 4 years ago, and had been collaborating on a bunch of different projects. And at a certain point, we decided to add his voice as well. And so what we've done is basically built A engine that is the highest quality voice generator in the world. It not only does it do it at super high quality, it does it really fast, and it does it very affordably. As a as a result, there is a free version of Speechify anyone can use.

Cliff Weitzman [00:08:58]:

Obviously, there's a premium version as well that gives you more, you know, quality experiences. And the way people typically will use it is the 4 most highly used places are people reading their email, people reading Google Docs, People, consuming, the news, people reading PDFs, and then people scanning actually physical documents, and listening to speechify with them, whether it be uploading Kindle books, or, taking pictures of actual textbooks.

Jordan Wilson [00:09:24]:

And, you know, for those of you listening live, I'm gonna go ahead. We're gonna play a preview here of, you know, just Snoop Dogg. Hopefully hopefully, this works alright on the live stream, but, just go ahead and listen in here. Yo. It's Snoop, d o, double g, and I'm a English voice from the United States. It's time for you to get your reading superpowers. Oh, I love it. Hopefully hopefully, everyone can hear that.

Jordan Wilson [00:09:45]:

If not, don't worry. We're always gonna link, you know, to the Speechify website so you can, check that out yourselves. But So, Cliff, you actually went to Snoop Dogg's house and and recorded this, right, which which is such a cool experience. I mean, how much, you know, validity? Maybe did this not give, you know, speechify, but even just the text to speech kind of, You know, kind of genre in general because, you you know, like you said, these text to speech platforms have been around for a very long time. Big companies have been offering them, but text to speech, Like I said, it's been pretty terrible, you you know, up until the last, like, couple of years. I mean, what did this mean for both your company and just for the industry to have big names behind this technology as a whole.

Cliff Weitzman [00:10:27]:

Yeah. So Speechify had been running we we were one of the top performing advertisers in both Facebook and YouTube for a long time. We get about a 100,000,000 out of persons per month. And that was mainly targeted to people who were the ideal type of user for Speechify. But, really, before we started doing these types of partnerships, Speechify was a tool, like a calculator, except instead of helping you do a calculation, it helps you read. When we started in these types of partnerships, we found, first of all, that people build a very strong affinity for the voices that they use inside of Speechify. You know, sometimes there'll be a voice that we take offline Because we wanna fix something about it, and the amount of complaints we'll get is enormous because people feel so close to the voice. And so when you have a person that you spend a lot of time with, Whether it be mister beast or Snoop Dogg or whomever, and you're able to carry that relationship over to academics, or something that you're curious about.

Cliff Weitzman [00:11:17]:

That's really, really cool. The second thing for us that was very fun is we had to write the 1st contracts in the history of the world for licensing someone's voice, you know, for an extended period of time, where they're not actually doing the speaking themselves. And so the product started as b to c, and now we have a product that's, predominantly b to b. So it's the Speechify voice over library. And so you're able to go to the Speechify voice over studio, and you can create voice overs with your voice, with other people's voices. It lets you translate podcasts from one language to the another. It lets you transcribe. It has an array of other features.

Cliff Weitzman [00:11:47]:

And so the fun part here is, number 1, we get to build really cool technologies. There's a a 30 person AI engineering team at. Our brother Tyler actually has He did his master's in artificial intelligence at Stanford, did his undergrad math there. And he built about 36 iPhone apps by the time he was, No. 42 iPhone apps for the time he was 17, and he had a cybersecurity company called Black SMS before he joined Speechify. And he ended up doing all of his masters with Speechify. And then when he joined, he took over the AI team for me, and that was one of the best days of my life because he could do a much better job than I did. But it's a lot of just and Honing and making sure that we're using exceptional data and that we're building a really strong team.

Cliff Weitzman [00:12:23]:

So we're always hiring for that team. And then the partnerships were very cool because, Number 1, you get to do very interesting, contract, formation. And number 2, it's something that ends up being really, really excited for the users at the end of the day. And so whereas users previously would come purely for the function of text to speech, now they're coming because they have a existing strong relationship with the creator, and they wanna support the creator more.

Safety in text-to-voice space


Jordan Wilson [00:12:47]:

You know, one thing one thing that you mentioned there, Cliff, that, I wanna bring up is is, you know, you said that you were, the Speaking these things that you type in, obviously, but but now you see other companies following suit. Right? Like, you are ahead of the curve. Now you have, You know, similar offerings as an example from from Meta that, you know, they just, you know, unveiled this a couple of months ago with, you know, Tom Brady and some other, you know, big big name people. How do you view that? Right? Do you view that as, oh, you know, this is a threat for for Speechify, or do you view that as, hey. We know what we're doing. We were ahead of the curve. We're a leader in this space.

Cliff Weitzman [00:13:31]:

No. Of course not. I think what Meta is doing is phenomenal. I think that the thing to be very mindful of is is you wanna make sure that you protect creators and you protect people because AI safety is also extremely important. So our philosophy in general at Speechify is to put the, the rights owners in the driver's seat. So we go and we negotiate contracts. We make sure we're doing it in partnership with people. There are some bad actors out there who will do this without, you know, an agreement and are, you know, infringing of people's IP.

Cliff Weitzman [00:13:57]:

Like, that's very much not okay. That's number 1. Number 2 is, you know, there is a level of danger here. And so we're not letting anybody clone anybody's voice inside of Speechify. Right? If you go into the app and you provision into the beta, you can actually clone your own voice, and it's super accurate. You can do the same thing for your girlfriend, for, your husband, for your children, for your grandma, and then your grandma can read your, you know, 9 year old's, book at the end of the day, which I think is amazing. But you have to have the physical device next to you. You can't just, like, clone any voice that you get off of the Internet.

Cliff Weitzman [00:14:25]:

And so that's the thing that I really care about is I think that companies like Meta adopting this phenomenal, and more companies should do the same thing, with contracts that protect the rights of the creators. But at the same time, you gotta make sure that you protect people's voices. The second thing is when you look at actors and voice actors, etcetera so I love audiobooks. You know? I learned English by listening to Harry Potter, and I listen to about 2 audiobooks a week every single week. And so I really care that narrators, you know, get a really great experience here. And so in the same way that if you're an artist, you can use Photoshop in order to make your experience better as an artist. This is an amazing tool for narrators and actors to proliferate their business. And like anything else with AI, it's not something that is here to replace you.

Cliff Weitzman [00:15:05]:

It is something that is here to augment your ability to create.

Jordan Wilson [00:15:09]:

You know what? You just talked about safety. Right, Cliff? I I can't even imagine especially being, you know, one of the 1st major players in the space. Just the amount of, you know, reports or concerns that that that you all have. How can you tackle this? Right? Right? Not just for, you know, kind of the, you know, the big names that you have on the platform, but, you know, What are the things that maybe keep you up at night when thinking about safety or, you you know, what are maybe some some recent, pieces that you put into place for safety? Because As generative AI gets better, right, and as these voices actually sound very real, there are some, you know, complications. Right? So so what are those things that, you know, kinda keep you up at night or the things that you're focusing on from a safety perspective?

Cliff Weitzman [00:15:53]:

Yeah. So at speech and fire, luckily, we've not had, any issues whatsoever when it comes to safety, but because there's a lot of things that we've built in house that we still haven't even released because we're unwilling to do it in a way that is not safe. So the first thing that we do is, like I mentioned before, you can only clone a voice if you have phone in front of you. You can't void clone a random voice from the Internet. Number 2 is we'll only put voices on the platform where we have existing relationships and the person, you know, knows to say yes. Number 3, we are internally building a classifier that if you upload a piece of audio from us or from anybody else, We'll be able to tell you, a, this is a real voice or a synthetically generated voice, and, b, here's actually where it got generated. That we think is a really good one. The things that scare me that I see online that I feel are mistakes is there's banks that still let you log in with the ID of your voice, which just is a very foolish thing to, a, allow.

Cliff Weitzman [00:16:43]:

B, still promote over email that people should do. Yeah. That's number 1. Number 2 is, you know, there are these very, very scary cases, of, bad actors who, for example, will call someone's grandparents and say, hey. I'm calling you from prison or jail. I need bail. You know, I need help, Yada yada with someone's actual voice, and, like, this is a very high stress moment. That's really, really problematic.

Cliff Weitzman [00:17:07]:

And so, luckily, Speechify is not a tool that can be used for that. However, you're in a place where with time, it's already like, number 1, it's already here. Number 2, it's going to get a lot more accessible to any bad actors, you know, over the last, like, 6 to 12 months. And And at a certain point, obviously, like, we will become more free with how we, allow our software to be accessible when you can access it from other places. And so people just need to know and be aware. Right? So you had this whole media frenzy in the last 2 elections around fake news. You'll have to the same thing around being discerning. When you see a video, when you see a audio clip, like, you can't take things at face value.

Cliff Weitzman [00:17:45]:

You have to confirm that it's actually legitimate. And then, you know, with family and friends, like, it's not even as far to say, hey. Just have a private catchphrase that you can exchange between the 2 of you, to verify that you know that this person is real, this person is not real. Again, we're not at that level, at Speechify so far. We're still mainly a tool that people use in order to read and write, and have a better experience learning. But this is really, big concerns that we have as well that we think about when we create technology.

Use cases for text-to-speech


Jordan Wilson [00:18:12]:

You know, Cliff, I'm wondering because you you mentioned that you're still in an avid reader and, you know, using Speechify for, you know, kind of the audiobooks or to to read to you. What are maybe some other, maybe interesting use cases that you are still even using your own platform for that

Cliff Weitzman [00:18:28]:

Yeah.

Jordan Wilson [00:18:28]:

Maybe aren't, you know, kind of, you know, quote, unquote, mainstream, dream, you know, not just reading your emails or, you know, recapping the news for you, but maybe what are some, interesting use cases that you're using Speechify for?

Cliff Weitzman [00:18:38]:

Yeah. So the first and most important one is I use the Mac app for Speechify a lot and the Chrome extension for Speechify a lot. And the first thing I did is I used it to help me learn how to listen really fast. So the average American reads at 200 words per minute. I listen to most things if it's with my phone closed and off at 500 words per minute. And if the content is presented at the computer in front of me, I'd like 700 to 800 words per minute. The reason I'm able to do this is the words are highlighted on the screen as they're being read out. And let's say I'm reading a physics textbook.

Cliff Weitzman [00:19:04]:

A section that I'm familiar with, that covers something that I know well, I listen to very fast at 700 words per minute. The second I'm presented with a new equation or a graph or something that, you know, requires a little bit more thought. I'll slow down with a keyboard shortcut down to 300 words per minute. I'll go through that, and then I'll accelerate again. And so the ability to then now could change the speed is the first thing that I use all the time, whether it be when I'm reading documents or emails or the news or documentation. The second thing I use a lot is, actually following along with my eyes as I'm listening. So I historically was a very, slow reader, And now I'm a very fast reader, and it's because dyslexia is not a, reading disability as much as it is a decoding challenge. So, if you have the word, for example, you have times, t I m e t m s times.

Cliff Weitzman [00:19:50]:

You need to do the the phonemics breakdown. Dyslexics found that very challenging. But if you see the word times in in front of you and you hear it in your ears a 100, a 1000 times, you start to be able to recognize and sight read that work. And so I became a really good sight reader as a result of using Speechify. The last thing I started to use Speechify a lot for is we're very well known for the iPhone app and Chrome extension and Mac app and Android app that we have, but We actually recently launched an audiobooks product called Speechify Audiobooks, and it hosts, 350,000 audiobooks from all the major publishers. And what we're able to do now is, offer a lot of ebooks that we have partnerships with those publishers, that are audiobook, or, AI supported. That gives the ability to normal people, especially those with learning differences to act you got it. To access, a world of learning that otherwise they would not have had access So even if you look at a product like Audible, Audible has 450,000 audiobooks.

Cliff Weitzman [00:20:45]:

But pretty soon, we'll end up with a situation where we'll have tens of millions of, ebooks and physical books and that are accessible as high quality audiobooks, and to me, that's something that's very exciting.

Audience questions


Jordan Wilson [00:20:55]:

So so much more I wanna dig into, but we actually have some great questions in here from the audience. So if are joining us live, make sure to get your questions in. If you wanna know anything from Cliff about text to speech or about, the Speechify platform in general, but, Douglas with a great one here. So, you know, Cliff, you said that you have to actually, you know, read, you you know, if you wanna clone your voice as an example. Right? You have to actually do it yourself. But, you you know, Douglas asking here, can you add other people's voices in certain situations? Like, if a loved one is losing their ability to talk or maybe, You know, a spouse has recently passed or something like that. I know that there's two sides to that coin because, yes, maybe that person didn't give their consent or if someone is very sick but and Still alive. I I mean, what are the applications for that and, you know, pros and cons of that as well?

Cliff Weitzman [00:21:42]:

So this is something that we're already doing for Some long term users and that we're really excited about. So 1, yes, if you have a loved one who is actively losing their voice, if you Contact Speechify support either within the app or you send us an email, support at speechify.com. It's something that we're letting people do. And in that case, we're just making you a case by case call. But one thing that we're really excited about is memorialized voices. And so we have a lot of users, and we have a couple of programs that we already operate with that are, for nursing, nurses who do hospice, turns out that the things people want often when they're processing away is to be remembered. And this is something that gives a lot of, solace to folks who are at that stage of life, and And especially if you have family who, you know, remember them and want to be able to continue to remember them, especially when you have a large age gap between a grandparent or great grandparent and a child who is Maybe, like, 4, 5, 6 years old, and hasn't gotten to spend, you know, as much time with that grandparent as they would have liked to. That's one thing that we're very excited to spend more time on.

Jordan Wilson [00:22:46]:

Another another great one from from Ben here. So Ben asking, do your artists ever ask about preventing their voice from being used To read things that they want wouldn't want to be used in real life. Yeah. That's a great one. Like, yeah, Ken. What if, we we have Snoop Dogg just promoting, you know, East Coast rappers and, you know, Not the West Coast rappers. Like, how does that even work? Right? Because if if a big person you know, if a big celebrity does lend their voice, there's obviously probably a lot of concerns that they have, and that's probably why, You know, those contracts are super long, but how does that work, and what are the concerns there?

Cliff Weitzman [00:23:16]:

Yeah. So there are things that we will program in that the voices cannot say, but they're not as broad as promoting East Coast versus West Coast rappers. You notice that the types of people that we tend to partner with, are folks who have very, very strong followings online, and they're already known for being people who are, ahead of the curve. Right? Either they're they're very entrepreneurial, or they're very creative and inventive, and they're happy to be part of essentially this, you know, art experiment. And so, typically in those situations, they're they're they're aware that that's the type of thing people are going to do, and they think it's hilarious.

Future of text-to-speech


Jordan Wilson [00:23:55]:

Oh, man. I love it. What's what's one thing, Cliff, that you see the future of of this space, of the text to speech? Because even myself. Right? Like, I I use text to speech, a lot because I I'm not a big reader. Right? I I I like to listen. I like to learn and listen or, you know, kinda like what you said, watch The words on the screen, but listen as well. What do you see as the future of the text to text to speech space? Because it's obviously, You know, we we kind of mentioned, you know, Meta, and there's obviously a lot of other of your competitors that are out there raising a lot of money, you know, new platforms coming out. But what does the future of this space and

Cliff Weitzman [00:24:30]:

space even look like. Yeah. So when I was 13, 14, I moved to the US, and I couldn't speak English. And And when I was 18, I started university, and I wasn't very good at reading. But I've consistently been the most well per read person I've ever met, and it's because I listen to 2 audiobooks a week, And I've done that for 17 years. And I listen at 3 x speed, and it doesn't matter whether I'm walking around or I'm in the car or I'm working out. Like, I'm listening. And so I'm a fundamentally different person because text to speech exists.

Cliff Weitzman [00:24:56]:

And I ended up with this solution because I was not very good at reading. But, it doesn't matter whether you're excellent at reading or not. It's just impossible to cook and read at the same time, to drive and read at the same time, and it's impossible to read as quickly as you can learn how to listen. And so you've had a huge rise of audio consumption, whether it be via YouTube or podcasts or audiobooks or double speed WhatsApp messages. And so this is a fundamental shift and, information intake for a lot of people. And so, essentially, it's ending up making number 1, making people smarter. Number 2, leveling the pilling field, and making sure that people aren't painted into a stencil, especially if you have running differences like dyslexia or ADHD. And so it's unlocking a lot of human potential that previously, people didn't have access to unlocking it themselves.

Cliff Weitzman [00:25:41]:

And I think it gives a lot of people the ability to dream in a way that they might not have been able to before. Right? If you wanna be a lawyer, but you're not good at reading, If you wanna be, you know, in business or good at real estate or whatever it might be, like, that's something that that now people have access to that previously they didn't have as much access to. That's number 1. Number 2 is we're at the point now where people went from consuming a 100,000,000 words per month on Speedify, which is a ton, to a 1000000000 words per month to 6,000,000,000 words per month. It's the amount of content that we're able to log is gigantic. Now it's not just what people are electing to open on their screen. It's what they're actually electing to listen to, and we know where people click etcetera. One thing I'm excited for in the long term is like TikTok, being able to instead of recommending to you, entertainment material, and Material that is more most relevant for your learning and for your business given the stuff that you're consuming already.

Cliff Weitzman [00:26:26]:

And so we've built a product right now, like I said before, that's an excellent calculator for reading. I'm excited to turn it into much more of a multiplayer mode experience where if you're inside of a team, you have a teammate who read x and a teammate who read y, like, It'll suggest go ask Josh about this problem because, you know, he's already consumed this piece of content. So that to me is very exciting.

Jordan Wilson [00:26:46]:

You know, Quite a few people asking, so Ahmed and and Carlos as well, just asking about what languages, you know, does Speechify work in. So, yeah, what what languages does it

Cliff Weitzman [00:26:55]:

work in? So we support more than 80 languages already. So unless you speak, like, a very uncommon dialect, like, your language is supported. Icelandic, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew. It doesn't matter, like, Portuguese. Everything is on the platform. And we have a list of the dialects that we haven't onboarded yet, and we're constantly working on adding those as well. So, 95% of languages that are spoken on the world are are, In terms of volume are are already there.

Is written word becoming less impactful?


Jordan Wilson [00:27:22]:

Yeah. Okay. Good. You know, just just in case I ever decide to learn more languages, I can I can use it? Cliff, I have a hot take, and I want I want your opinion on this. And and this actually hurts me as a former journalist, but I feel especially with, You know, platforms like, you know, Chat GPT or Google Bart or whatever. I feel the written word, unfortunately, is becoming less impactful. Right? And I do think that more, you know, things like this, right, like live video conversations, you know, and maybe text to speech are are becoming more and more popular. Do you do you see that happening as as well with with just the written word? Do you see it losing its luster and and, you know, maybe a higher priority on and Personalized audio or live video.

Jordan Wilson [00:28:06]:

To

Cliff Weitzman [00:28:07]:

the statement that you said, not at all. But to a nuanced version of it, yes. So, I like history. I was recently reading about Jefferson, and I realized Jefferson wrote the declaration of independence when he was 33 years old. I'm gonna recently, turn 30 in 6 months. So that to me was very inspiring. I was like, there's there's great days ahead. The declaration of independence is amazing, because it is so concise and and so short and so to the point.

Cliff Weitzman [00:28:30]:

And so I've always thought that great writing is great thinking. And so the written word does not lose its power in the sense that It is still the best way of expressing yourself in a manner that is concise and thoughtful. However, how that ends up being broadcast, Yes. Dead tree is not the best way of broadcasting your thoughts. Right? Sometimes it's a video. Sometimes it's a podcast. Sometimes it's an audio message. Because when you broadcast, you want people to feel your tone.

Cliff Weitzman [00:28:53]:

You want people to feel your reflection. You want people to feel your accent. Right? There's a very good saying. If you talk to a man in a language he understands, talk to his brain. If you talk to him in his language, you talk to his heart. So that's another thing that we're building inside of Speechify is the ability to translate all books and all content from one language to another And doing it, obviously, in a voice that, is close to you. And so I think that if you are a phenomenal journalist or historian or politician, The ability to consume information and then deduce what is the most valuable thing there and then spit out the most important thoughts with your opinion on them In writing is critical, but it might be the case that that's not enough now. You need to then take your notes and figure out how to broadcast them In a matter that is, going to hit pea touch people's hearts in the most impactful way as well.

Jordan Wilson [00:29:37]:

Hey. Great great transition. We'll go from touching people's hearts to just, hilarity. Question here from Woozy. And I'm well, I'm gonna also ask it to you, though, Cliff. So Woozy's asking, what's the funniest voice book combo you have put together? But I'm gonna also ask you, What's the voice, on Speechify that you use the most?

Cliff Weitzman [00:29:57]:

My favorite combo was when we first got the Snoop Dogg voice. We played with it a lot. And, Kanye West has a song. I can't remember the name of the song, but, essentially, there's a segment there where he goes, Stewberry tube tube. Stewberry tube tube. And, we had Snoop Dogg wrap that portion, and it was absolutely hilarious. I I think we had the entire, Office on the floor. And so I think that, the other one was doctors, Snoop Dogg reading doctor doctor Seuss.

Cliff Weitzman [00:30:26]:

It was a very, very good combo. So that's 1. And then what was the second question you asked?

Jordan Wilson [00:30:32]:

What's what's the voice that you use on Speechify the most?

Cliff Weitzman [00:30:35]:

Okay. So, this is a very interesting one. So Cliff Voice is also available on Speechify, and I am the 3rd, most used voice, I'll speechify. The number 1 voice, I think, is John, and the number 2 voice is Gwyneth Paltrow. One thing that we found is that if you listen with your own voice, you can actually retain the information better, because you're so used to your own voice, and it's very similar to the voice inside your head. So I use the Cliffs voice a lot, and, so do a lot of my friends, Interestingly enough. So I recommend, hey. Try your own voice.

Cliff Weitzman [00:31:05]:

It's surprisingly good.

Jordan Wilson [00:31:07]:

Oh, I never thought about that. You know? But I also don't know, you know, having being on a a daily live stream of podcast, if I wanna hear my voice any more than I already have to hear. But maybe maybe I'll give it a try clip.

Cliff Weitzman [00:31:19]:

And People either really hate it or they love it. And for those who really hate it, I recommend listen with the voice of your spouse.

Using text-to-speech as professionals


Jordan Wilson [00:31:25]:

Oh, okay. There we go. Alright. So We've talked about a lot here, Cliff, and and maybe maybe to wrap up. What are maybe 1 or 2 great use cases? We kind of, you you know, talked a little bit about them throughout the course of this show. But, you know, specifically for those who are trying to grow their career, to grow their business, sometimes you don't think of text to speech, Right. As that platform that can really help you grow in those areas. Maybe can you mention 1 or 2 specific use cases that can help there?

Cliff Weitzman [00:31:53]:

The 2 I would say, the first one is if you are in a career that requires you to learn. Right? Whether you're a doctor or a nurse or you're in the military and need to consume content, especially if it's like a manual or a book. Throw it on Speechify, and then next time you're on a commute or you're working out or you're cooking, just click play. And make sure that the speed of the listening is equal to the speed at which your mind is working. So if you have ADHD, do not listen at 1 x speed. Listen at, like, 2, 3 x speed. That's, like, the most important piece of advice that I can give is use it to unlock time that otherwise would be done. And the second thing that's actually the most important is contracts.

Cliff Weitzman [00:32:27]:

So if you have a real estate contract, if you have a contract with a manufacturer, If you have a contract as an actor. If you don't read your contracts, what the heck are you doing as a business professional? You always have to read your contracts. But the thing is, the thing you're looking for is the gotchas. Right? So sometimes it's a 100 page contract. Alright. Throw it in there. Click play at 500 words per minute, and just listen. And it'll take you, like, an hour, But you'll notice the gotchas, and then relisten to the portion that is the gotcha at, like, 300 words per minute.

Cliff Weitzman [00:32:55]:

And it's unbelievable how often I see this use case, used especially in real estate and especially in sales. And for that, you can either use the, Chrome extension or the web app for Speechify, or you can use the Mac app. They're like the the 3 best.

Jordan Wilson [00:33:08]:

I love that. So there you go. Before you go clone your voice on Speechify, have Snoop Dogg read their terms of and to you. Right? Yeah.

Cliff Weitzman [00:33:16]:

There you go.

Jordan Wilson [00:33:17]:

No one wants to read that that that those boring contracts and all the terms of service, but, Cliff, you bring up a good point. We should probably all be doing that. Alright, Cliff. Thank you so much for your time and telling us more about text to speech. We appreciate you coming on the show.

Cliff Weitzman [00:33:30]:

Perfect. Have a good one.

Jordan Wilson [00:33:31]:

Alright. And, hey, as a reminder, there is a lot more. If you heard something Cliff said, make sure to go to your everyday AI .com. Sign up for that free daily newsletter. We're gonna have a lot more in there about what we about and more. Thank you for joining us, and we hope to see you on another edition of Everyday AI. Thanks, y'all.

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