Minnesota 'voice banking' service preserves voices - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minnesota 'voice banking' service preserves voices

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Some Minnesota residents who are losing their voice to disease or disability are recording their speech in a process known as "voice banking," which will provide them with a new synthetic voice when they can no longer speak.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that about 50 people statewide have banked their voices since 2016 mostly, at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. The recording service is also now offered at St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University, Mankato. The universities don't charge for the service.

Judy Bernhardt, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in November 2017, is among the residents banking their voice.

The 64-year-old says she's trying to preserve her voice, so that her family can continue to hear her speak "rather than the synthesis of the voice that sounds like a robot."

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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