Back in 2017, Val Kilmer lost his voice due to a battle with throat cancer. The 61-year-old actor battle through his diagnosis publicly. One day he woke up feeling a lump in his throat while in a pool of blood, the end result was a tracheotomy that more or less took his voice.
Since then, Kilmer has worked with Sonantic. Based out of the U.K., Sonantic is in the business of cloning voices. With their help, the legendary actor has been given an AI-version of his voice. Ultimately, his voice was taken by cancer, but his spirit and creativity never were. Now, Kilmer can get back to conversing and socializing with friends and family again.
Old recordings were used to recreate Val Kilmer’s voice. With audio clips, movies, and more there were hours of material to work with. The result is truly remarkable. Watch the video below.
“We all have the capacity to be creative. We’re all driven to share our deepest dreams and ideas with the world,” Val Kilmer says to start the video. “When we think of the most talented, creative people, they speak to us in a unique way.”
During the video, Kilmer discusses the hardship of losing one’s voice. Despite losing his voice, he still felt the same. Creatively, and in his soul, he felt like the same person he had always been. With his new voice, he can get back to sharing his dreams, thoughts, and ideas with others; clearly and defiantly.
Val Kilmer and Sonatic
Working hand-in-hand with Sonatic allowed Val Kilmer to really help with the development of his new voice. The AI prototype used archival footage to help create the model. Hopefully, the technology will help others dealing with the loss of their voice.
“I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonatic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I’ve never imagined possible,” Kilmer said to The Wrap. “As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the side effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me.” Truly, communication is vital to socializing and interacting with the world and people around us.
“The chance to narrate my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift.”