Who said story time was only for kids?
Start today about stories sky news website It can be read aloud to you by host Jayne Secker – your own on-demand newsreader, always ready.
If you want to give it a try, the play button at the top of this article will do the trick.
Let us know what you think by email email@example.com.
Isn’t Jayne busy enough?
Yes – but don’t worry, this avatar has always been in the world.
power through artificial intelligence (AI), hours in front of the microphone, Jayne’s voice was cloned and turned into a realistic text-to-speech tool.
Some 2,000 “utterances,” ranging from single words to complex sentences, are recorded—creating a rather large database of Jayne Secker speech fragments, which can then be used to read any text you throw at it.
“I was a little concerned that it would end up sounding like a subway,” Jayne said.
But as you can see by hitting the play button above, it sounds very natural.
If you tune in while you’re making breakfast or jogging, you’ll have a hard time telling it’s not a real-time announcement.
“It was really surreal,” Jayne said of the first time she heard her virtual self read a text.
“Is this something I’ve read aloud? But no, it’s just something they created. I’m putting myself out of a job…”
Who’s behind this on-demand news reader?
Sky News worked on the project with BeyondWords, which uses AI to produce natural-sounding synthetic speech.
Co-founder and CEO Patrick O’Flaherty believes that artificial intelligence and wireless headphones will change the way people consume information in the same way that smartphones have.
“Sky News users are familiar with Jayne Secker, and the problem with existing text-to-speech voices is that they’re not made for reading or listening to articles, they tend to be generic voices for sat navs and call centres,” he said.
“In a piece of writing, you want someone who sounds more personable — a voice that resonates with the audience.”
The ‘utterances’ script Jayne recorded was generated from a previous Sky News article – the Wagatha Christie case proves that the foundational content of the AI voice is particularly rich.
From there, the model is fine-tuned to ensure no mispronunciation and a natural rhythm and flow – meaning it does sound like the real Jayne Secker, reading the news like she’s on TV.
More stories to hear:
AI is basically just an advanced pigeon, study says
Codebreakers decipher lost letters of Mary Queen of Scots
Is this really a good idea?
You can be forgiven for asking this question, Given recent headlines about AI voice cloning.
But if used responsibly, Mr. O’Flaherty said, “you can use it forever”.
So while AI Jayne is available on demand on the Sky News platform, she’s not going anywhere else — you can’t ask her to read your text messages or whatever book you’re reading.
“It might seem scary to some, but here it has a practical use,” says the real Jayne.
“The way people consume news is changing all the time, creating an alternative for people.
“You might go for a run, do the dishes, and have it play in the background — almost creating a custom news bulletin for yourself.”
Don’t worry, AI is only helping us read the news — it’s not being used to write it.
believe us, we tried.