The first male African American English voice is joining Acapela’s digital voices in a nice step towards even more diversity.
Darius is joining Tamira, the First ever female African American digital voice, launched earlier last year.
“We are keeping pace with our promise to provide a voice for all and we are proud to offer to users both a female and a male African American English digital voice” says Nicolas Mazars, Inclusive Market Owner at Acapela Group. “This achievement was made with the essential support and contribution of the AAC community”.
A World First
Both Darius and Tamira were developed with our AAC partners (Augmentative and Alternative Communication): AssistiveWare, PRC-Saltillo and Tobii Dynavox. We decided to take tangible steps jointly in our voice diversity approach and for this, we initiated the creation of the first African American English digital voices (AAE).
Relying on the community
To successfully conduct this mission, we called upon African American AAC users. Including, Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) as well as the parents of young AAC users, to help us define the right voice profile, based on their unique knowledge and feedback. We took the time to ask, listen, share, discuss and learn what could possibly be the right choice for an ‘AAE’ voice. A voice anticipated by a wide community, a voice capable of embodying voice characteristics while being suitable for the north-south, west-east parts of the US, along with the right tone. A big challenge indeed.
After Tamira, we are thrilled to introduce Darius’ voice to the world. A digital voice created hand in hand with the community, based on the voice characteristics, to the voice casting and even on our choice for name of the voice, just as we did for Tamira.
At Acapela, we aim to create personalized voices perfectly adapted to the context of each application. Either for individuals, who need digital voices to communicate or for companies looking for a digital spokesperson for their voice branding. The exercise remains the same: helping people to get the right voice that fits and works. Our core expertise as a bespoke player is right here. We not only provide a high-quality voice that is excellent, technically speaking based on our latest innovations on neural TTS, but we also provide the voice that fits the users’ needs.
Darius is the second member of the new ‘AAE’ family, joining Acapela’s repertoire of voices in 30+ languages. Two children’s voices will join the band shortly.