Artificial intelligence to give ALS patients a voice

Artificial intelligence to give ALS patients a voice

An alliance between research, artificial intelligence and a team of voice actors for give back the voice to those who have lost it due to ALS or other diseases. The first digital voice ecosystem is born in Italy ‘Voice for purpose’, a digital technology platform which sees the involvement of Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Nemo, Traslated, Dream On and Aisla clinical centers. The project was presented in Rome, in the presence of the Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci.

Born from an intuition of Pino Insegno, actor and dubber who put the voice at the center of his life, Voice for purpose is a real ‘voice library‘ with double value. While on the one hand it will allow people who have lost their speech to choose an expressive one among all those that will be donated by people from all over the world, on the other hand it will allow ‘save’ your own voice by recording it. A possibility, the latter, which will be accessible to all those who still have the ability to speak, so that in the future no one will be forced to speak with a metallic voice when the disease affects it.

The Voice for purpose project is the first stage of an innovative path that will develop over the next few years and which already today allows the most advanced speech synthesis technologies to get back to communicating more easily. “Those who experience a neuromuscular pathology have to deal with physical limits every day and in this sense technology represents a fundamental tool at the service of everyone’s need for autonomy – he said Stefano Regondi, general manager of Nemo Clinical Centers and Nemo Lab – This is the mission of our technological center which was born in the wake of 15 years of experience, research and care of the Nemo Centers with which we have taken care of around 20 thousand patients over the years. With this awareness and responsibility, it is a privilege for us to share this research path with partners of high scientific excellence”. Operating since 2021, Nemo Lab, with its 10 laboratories, is the first Italian technological hub exclusively dedicated to neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases.

“It’s amazing to see how the AI ​​voices we develop help people communicate with each other,” he said Fabio Minazzi, director of Audiovisual of Translated – Making this project work requires the ability to scale on the artificial voices, to meet the needs of people in different conditions. Every day we learn something new and improve the project through collaboration with patients. Overall, we are proud to offer our knowledge and our computing power to this initiative which contributes to people’s quality of life”. A result strongly desired by those who work with the voice every day and work for the well-being of people with the The goal is to develop easy-to-use interfaces, capable of returning a ductile voice and capable of expressing moods, emotions and concerns more and more realistically.

“The alliance between technologies, research and clinic that takes its cue from the Voice for purpose platform and aims at the digital ecosystem of the voice – he underlined Eugenio Guglielmelli, rector of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome and scientific director of the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation – represents an important opportunity to accelerate the development of more effective and efficient tools to give people who can no longer speak a speed and expressive coherence that is increasingly similar to their real intention. With our research units we will work on the development of advanced intelligent systems which, also through the data provided by some physiological parameters that can be monitored, make it possible to make the patient’s intention and state perceptible in order to give him back a greater capacity for communication and social interaction to support the quality of his independent life”.

“The loss of the ability to speak with one’s own voice is one of the reasons for the greatest suffering for people with ALS and their families. We strongly believe in this project because it gives us the possibility not only of regaining a human voice but, above all, to restore soul and identity in our relationships. Days like today testify how the enlightened alliance between institutions and the scientific community is capable of concretely placing itself at the service of the common good starting from listening to needs. Pino Insegno’s commitment goes beyond limit of the disease, allowing us to share our desire for life”. As Fulvia Massimelli, president of Aisla, the Italian Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Associationamong the speakers at the presentation of ‘Voice for purpose’, the digital technology platform that sees the involvement of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Nemo Clinical Centers, Nemo Lab, Translated, Dream On and Aisla.

Massimelli (Aisla): “Giving the voice back to those with ALS is restoring soul and identity” (VIDEO)

According to Massimelli, “technological devices must always be at the forefront, they are expensive, the companies that intervened today have contributed funds but that is not enough. These technologies must be within the reach of the entire SLA population and not just a small part. We are talking about about 5-6 thousand patients in Italy, many are not in an advanced stage of the disease. Since, alas, there is still no cure today – he reiterated – we must aim for a better quality of life”.


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