Tech Digest daily roundup: Microsoft AI can replicate human voice after 3 seconds


Microsoft has unveiled an AI voice simulator capable of accurately imitating a person’s voice after listening to them speak for just three seconds. The VALL-E language model was trained using 60,000 hours of English speech from 7,000 different speakers in order to synthesize “high-quality personalised speech” from any unseen speaker. Once the artificial intelligence system has a person’s voice recording, it is able to make it sound like that person is saying anything. It is even able to imitate the original speaker’s emotional tone and acoustic environment. Independent 

Makers of electric cars are slowing down UK production as the vehicles are too expensive for many motorists. It is now expected that the UK will produce 280,000 fully electric cars and vans in 2025, down from previous estimates of 360,000. The forecast means only a quarter of car output will be electric within the next two years, lower than prior forecasts of more than a third. In its latest report, the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which provides taxpayer funding to makers of zero-emissions vehicles, said the ‘uncertain economy’ was expected to push drivers towards cheaper car models for a longer period. Daily Mail 

According to a new report from The Elec, Apple is preparing to expand the Dynamic Island pill-shaped cutout from the iPhone 14 Pro series to all iPhone 15 models including the non-Pro iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. The new publication sites that Apple has already made orders to its component suppliers including Samsung Display which in turn ordered equipment worth KRW 24.1 billion ($19.3 million) from fellow South Korean company Philoptics. The order is reportedly for etching equipment used for the production of Dynamic Island displays. GSM Arena 

The Elec: All iPhone 15 models will bring Dynamic Island, iPhone 16 Pro to debut UD Face ID
Windows Central’s Zac Bowden is the go-to reporter for any Microsoft Surface rumors, and his latest report is that Surface Duo 3 is dead, or at least, a device in the same mold as the Surface Duo 1 and 2 has been canceled. There might someday be a Microsoft device branded “Surface Duo 3,” but the Surface Duo form factor—a dual-screen device with a 360-degree hinge—is dead. The report says Microsoft is now working on a “more traditional foldable design, with a 180-degree hinge, internal foldable screen and external cover display”—so in the same vein as a Galaxy Fold. Ars Technica 

The government is considering introducing a national cryptocurrency or “digital pound”, the economic secretary to the Treasury has told MPs. The UK was committed to becoming a world crypto hub, Andrew Griffith said. And the government was “a long way down the road… to establish a regime for the wholesale use, for payment purposes, of stablecoins”. Stablecoins are designed to have a predictable value linked to traditional currencies or assets such as gold. A public consultation on the attributes of a digital pound would be launched in coming weeks, Mr Griffith told the Treasury Select Committee. BBC 

I’m listening to the accelerated, chipmunk voice of the British singer Raye on Escapism, a rebound-sex anthem that’s currently climbing UK pop charts. Raye actually has a low, brassy singing voice, but I’m not listening to her official version. This one is paced 150% faster than the original song.
Who wants to listen to a song that sounds like a triple shot of espresso? Perhaps more people than you might think. The Escapism remix can be found on Sped Up Songs, a Spotify-produced playlist liked by more than 975,000 people.  The Guardian 


Chris Price
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