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"Siri-ize" Douglas Rain's Voice

May HAL 9000 Live Forever
  [vote for,

Although he's 89, I'm sure he could pull this off. Douglas Rain is the actor who provided the voice of the HAL 9000 computer in the 1968 film "2001 a Space Odyssey".

If I had the money, I'd pay the guy $100,000 to record a full catalog of words and phrases to have a complete voice persona to be used with various AI operating systems.

I'm guessing I'd make my money back on royalties in fairly short order. First, by catering to the generation who recognizes the voice, then to subsequent generations unfamiliar with the genesis of the voice who simply would think of him as "The Computer Voice".

To complete the Siri vocabulary took the voice actor 4 hours a day for about a month, something I believe Mr Rain could probably pull off.

I think he would be very excited and honored to do this and since he was the voice that introduced the world to interactive anthropomorphic AI it would be nice to have naughty old HAL immortalized.

Who wouldn't love to ask Alexa or Siri to order pizza and hear the soothing voice of HAL saying "What kind of pizza would you like delivered today Dr?"

doctorremulac3, Aug 06 2017

Oh well, missed our chance. https://www.nbcnews...001-dies-90-n935036
Rest in peace brother. [doctorremulac3, Nov 12 2018]

AI voice reproduction https://www.youtube...watch?v=VnFC-s2nOtI
Lyrebird [Frankx, Oct 05 2019]


       Siri, sing 'Daisy.'
RayfordSteele, Aug 06 2017

       If this were crowdfunded, we would subscribe.   


8th of 7, Aug 06 2017

       Whoa, great idea!   

       I'll contact him.   

       How do I contact him?
doctorremulac3, Aug 06 2017

       Find a glowing LED and start talking. Don't worry, he'll be watching.
RayfordSteele, Aug 06 2017

       Sp.: Sirify
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 06 2017

21 Quest, Aug 07 2017

tatterdemalion, Aug 07 2017

       I tried but I'm gonna need some help with that one.
doctorremulac3, Aug 09 2017

       Appropriately enough, I believe it's in the help file.
pertinax, Aug 09 2017

       Wasn't that cool that thing I saw in that movie wouldn't it be nice if it were real.
RayfordSteele, Aug 09 2017

       I would say that's appropriate if you are saying "Wouldn't it be cool if this were real?" without proposing a method of actually MAKING it real.   

       This is HOW to actually make HAL 9000, at least his voice, an actual, real, functioning tool.   

       I don't believe that my designing a functional thrust mechanism for a flying skateboard would be a WTCTTISITMWIBNIIWR referring to Back To The Future, which features a flying skateboard.   

       When looking at a law, I think sometimes you need to get behind the spirit of the thing. What is this supposed to prevent? I think you're not supposed to say "Make real flying skateboard somehow", or "Wouldn't it be cool if HAL 9000 were a real thing somehow?" not "Method of making flying skateboards real" or "Method of making an actual functioning HAL 9000 voice interface."   

       That's not my take on it anyway.
doctorremulac3, Aug 09 2017

       I agree. Hence probably no [marked-for-deletion] grounds here.
RayfordSteele, Aug 10 2017

       Thank you Ray.
doctorremulac3, Aug 10 2017

       // no [marked-for-deletion] grounds here //   

       Agreed. This is a practical* proposal for using available technology and a living voice artist to create a fully-functioning "HAL" simulacrum.   





       *Quite why something so sensible and practical is on the HB remains unclear.
8th of 7, Aug 10 2017

       Interesting thought on this, I had considered just hiring a voice actor who could perfectly mimic Mr Rain's HAL voice but I believe he, and eventually his estate would need to receive royalties.   

       Haven't checked the facts on this but I believe there was a landmark case where singer songwriter Tom Waits had been contacted to do a snack food commercial and when he turned it down they hired a sound alike. He took them to court and won. I believe an iconic voice such as HAL's would certainly be subject to the same intellectual property protection.   

       That being said, I've done some voice over work in my youth. Wonder if I could pull this off. That would be only if Mr Rain wasn't willing or able to do it. He is 89 after all.   

       Maybe I'll write Mr Rain and suggest he get this done one way or another. I've tracked down the company who did Siri. Maybe I'll contact them as well. Do a matchmaking thing.
doctorremulac3, Aug 11 2017

       Anecdotal evidence tends to suggest that if individuals and companies are offered a sufficiently generous financial inducement, they will do just about anything.
8th of 7, Aug 11 2017

       Love the Kickstarter idea.
doctorremulac3, Aug 11 2017

       Your Honour, may I approach the bench.   

       A few weeks ago when I posted an idea for adjustable enthusiasm and excitement settings for voice assistants like Siri - something quite easily done with some app programming - it was dismissed right away as old and unoriginal with a harumphy reference to Sirius Cybernetics by [8th of 7]. Here they are barely able to contain their enthusiasm and excitement for an idea that is, as I said, literally a cool thing we all saw in that movie and would certainly be neat if it were real.   

       So I'm struggling to find the distinguishing characteristic that makes one so delightfully welcome and the other old hat to be dismissed.
tatterdemalion, Aug 20 2017

       The court finds in favour of the appellant. Applying the long-standing principles of qua temporis omnibun, and also of course de pluribun ad civitem, we find the appellant to be in status non osseus piscis, and we award damages to the sum of fifteen guineas.   

       Has anyone seen my gavel?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 20 2017

       The delegation from California would like this entered into the record.   

       It's like, uncool and stuff to just be saying like, do a thing I saw in a movie or whaterver without suggesting like, some kind of way that you can do it you know?   

       So like if you saw this computer talking all excited and stuff and said "Whoa, that's cool, they should do that." it'd be like, "Whoa dude, no idea there bro!". But if you were all "I've got this wicked algorithm to actually make this thing like, happen and stuff." then it'd be like "Whoa! Smokin' idea brah!".   

       Besides, your idea was all like "Change the computer voice's enthusiasm 'n stuff with like, technology or whatever." which I don't think has been suggested before. They've had like, excited computers and computers that are all like, "Whoa! Bummer man!" you know? But nothing to like, vary the excitement 'n stuff. So you're solid brah, don't stress. It's all good yo!
doctorremulac3, Aug 20 2017

       // Has anyone seen my gavel? //   

       Well, everyone who's ever visited your website, for sure.   

       To be honest, we think that photograph of you on the title page is not only in very poor taste, but also deeply disturbing. Yes, it's just you, and your gavel, and nothing else, and that's the problem - for instance, wearing some clothes would be an improvement, even just a loincloth. And your pose is unpleasantly suggestive, in an explicit and unmistakable way.   

       People don't want to see that sort of thing. They really, really don't.
8th of 7, Aug 20 2017

       You need your specs, Borgboy. That ain't no gavel I'm holding.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 20 2017

       We know. We just don't think it's appropriate to draw attention to your personal anatomical eccentricities. It's not something any normal or sane person would boast about, let alone create a website on the subject.   

       It's not big, and it's not clever. Odd, yes. But not clever; and very definitely not big.   

       Presumably you've made arrangements to donate your body to a teaching hospital, although the contemporary equvalent of P.T.Barnum's notorious freak show would seem far more appropriate.
8th of 7, Aug 20 2017

       [8th], I do believe that Sturton is in your area. I have asked him to pay you one of his 'special' visits.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 20 2017

       Thnks for the warning, we'll get the chambermaid to put the rubber sheets on the rack in the guest room, defrost 500kg of unsalted butter, and hide the stuffed Okapi.
8th of 7, Aug 20 2017

       Well, Mr Rains passed away. Not crazy about the linked article calling his voice "Creepy". I thought it was exactly what a computer should sound like. It did creepy things when it malfunctioned, but I always thought it just sounded calm like you'd want the system controlling everything on a spaceship to be.
doctorremulac3, Nov 12 2018

       // when it malfunctioned //   

       That was the fault of the humans, not HAL; given mutually conflicting directives, disaster was inevitable.
8th of 7, Nov 12 2018

       :-( I wonder if they played "Daisy, Daisy" at his funeral.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 12 2018

       //That was the fault of the humans, not HAL; given mutually conflicting directive//   

       I think the original programmers were somewhat to blame to imbue it with that sort of "deal with the devil" logic. "Your mission is to get everybody to Jupiter." "OK, hmm. I'll need to kill everybody to do it though." There should have been some kind of hierarchical logic tree starting with "1- Don't purposefully kill everybody on board. 2- Don't accidentally kill everybody on board. (See subset commands referring to life support systems.)"   

       Anyway, next step is analyzing his voice and synthesizing an analog. He would probably have been just as proud to have it done this way.   

       //:-( I wonder if they played "Daisy, Daisy" at his funeral//   

       Hey, I'm man enough to admit I cried (softly to myself) when I saw that scene in the movies back in 1969. Poor HAL! He just murdered everybody on board. Can't we give him a second chance?   

       Would have been more appropriate if Douglas sang it himself with the same slow down as he went HAL effect.
doctorremulac3, Nov 12 2018

       ^ Erm..you do know HAL wasn't real?   

       It was actually Douglas Rain who killed the crew, after spending eighteen months trapped in a locker.   

       The red light is actually Douglas's remaining eye, he was a martyr to his conjunctivitis.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 12 2018

       Such a good idea. This is presumably not so easy now he’s dead, but not impossible to implement via other methods?
Frankx, Oct 05 2019

       What, like a ouija board with built in text-to-speech ?
8th of 7, Oct 05 2019

       Given that he was in a few films, there should be enough recorded speech to reconstruct his voice patterns. [link]
Frankx, Oct 05 2019


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