Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has recently announced a breakthrough in generative AI for speech. They have developed Voicebox, a state-of-the-art AI model that can perform speech generation tasks — like editing, sampling and stylizing — that it wasn’t specifically trained to do through in-context learning.
Voicebox can produce high-quality audio clips, and edit pre-recorded audio — like removing car horns or a dog barking — all while preserving the content and style of the audio. The model is also multilingual and can produce speech in six languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Polish and Portuguese.
In this article, we will explore what Voicebox can do, how it works and what it means for the future of audio creation and communication.
What can Voicebox do?
Voicebox is a versatile and powerful tool that can perform various tasks through in-context learning. It can adapt to different situations and inputs without requiring additional training or fine-tuning. Some of the tasks that Voicebox can do are:
- In-context text-to-speech synthesis: Using an audio sample as short as two seconds long, Voicebox can match the audio style and use it for a text-to-speech generation. For example, you can give it a sample of Mark Zuckerberg’s voice and a passage of text, and it will generate a speech that sounds like him.
- Speech editing and noise reduction: Voicebox can recreate a portion of the speech interrupted by noise or replace misspoken words without re-recording an entire speech. For example, you can identify a segment of a speech interrupted by a dog barking, crop it, and instruct Voicebox to re-generate that segment – like an eraser for audio editing.
- Cross-lingual style transfer: When given a sample of someone’s speech and a passage of text in English, French, German, Spanish, Polish or Portuguese, Voicebox can produce a reading of the text in any of those languages, even when the sample speech and the text are in different languages. This capability could be used in the future to help people communicate naturally and authentically, even if they don’t speak the same languages.
- Diverse speech sampling: Having learned from diverse data, Voicebox can generate speech more representative of how people talk in the real world and the six languages listed above. It can also vary the tone, pitch and emotion of the speech to make it more expressive and engaging.
How does Voicebox work?
Voicebox is based on Meta’s non-autoregressive flow matching model (NAF). This generative AI model can learn from large amounts of data and produce realistic outputs. NAF models are faster and more flexible than traditional auto-regressive models because they generate outputs in parallel rather than sequentially.
Voicebox is trained on a large-scale speech infilling task, where it learns to fill in missing parts of speech given some audio context and text. For example, given an audio clip with some silence or noise in the middle and the corresponding text transcript, Voicebox can generate the missing speech segment that matches the context.
By learning this task on a large scale of data covering six languages (60K hours for the English-only version and 50K hours for the multilingual version), Voicebox acquires a general understanding of speech generation, allowing it to perform other tasks through in-context learning. It can use different input types (such as text or audio samples) to guide its output generation.
What does Voicebox mean for the future?
Voicebox is an important step forward in Meta’s generative AI research, and they claim that it is the first AI model to generalize speech generation tasks that it wasn’t trained to accomplish. They also say that they are exploring the ethical implications of this technology and how to ensure its responsible use.
Voicebox has many potential applications and benefits for audio creation and communication. For example:
- It could give natural-sounding voices to virtual assistants and non-player characters in the metaverse.
- It could allow visually impaired people to hear written messages from friends read by AI in their voices.
- It could give creators new tools to easily create and edit audio tracks for videos, podcasts or music.
- It could enable people to speak any foreign language in their voice with cross-lingual style transfer.
- It could help with education, entertainment and accessibility by generating diverse and expressive speech samples.
Voicebox is also a creative tool that can inspire new forms of expression and storytelling. For example, you can use it to generate speeches in the style of celebrities, politicians or fictional characters. You can also experiment with different audio styles and languages and create your unique voice.
Meta Voicebox AI is a breakthrough in generative AI for speech that can perform various tasks through in-context learning. It can produce high-quality audio clips, and edit pre-recorded audio in six languages. It can also match any audio style, transfer style across languages, and generate diverse speech samples.
Voicebox is a versatile and powerful tool that can transform how we create and communicate with audio. It can also open up new possibilities for expression and creativity. However, it raises ethical questions and challenges that must be addressed and regulated.
If you want to learn more about Voicebox, you can visit Meta’s website or watch their demo videos. You can also check out other tools that offer similar capabilities, such as 11 Labs, Uberduck or Descript. Voicebox is not yet available to the public, but we hope to see it as an open-source model in the future.
You might also be interested in Waveform: A New Way to Visualize and Process Audio
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
- How does Meta Voicebox AI perform speech editing and noise reduction?
- Voicebox uses in-context learning to recreate interrupted speech segments without re-recording. It acts like an eraser for audio editing.
- Can Voicebox generate speech in languages other than English?
- Yes, Voicebox can produce speech in six languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese.
- What input types can guide Voicebox’s output generation?
- Voicebox can use different input types such as text or audio samples to guide its output generation.
- Is Voicebox available for public use?
- Voicebox is not yet available to the public, but Meta hopes to release it as an open-source model in the future.
- What are the potential applications of Voicebox?
- Voicebox has applications in virtual assistants, accessibility for visually impaired individuals, content creation, cross-lingual style transfer, education, entertainment, and more.
- How does Voicebox compare to traditional auto-regressive models?
- Voicebox is based on Meta’s non-autoregressive flow matching (NAF) model, which is faster and more flexible than traditional auto-regressive models, generating outputs in parallel.