(RightWing.org) – Fans of Hollywood star Jimmy Stewart are now able to hear the actor’s distinctive voice again, decades after his death. A wellness company has used AI to reproduce his drawling tones for an app that’s supposed to help people sleep. Stewart isn’t the first celebrity to lend their voice to the app — but he is the first to do it from beyond the grave.
Entertainment news outlet The Messenger is reporting that Calm.com Inc., a San Francisco-based meditation and “wellness” company, has added Jimmy Stewart’s voice to its flagship Sleep Stories app. Sleep Stories narrates stories that, according to Calm, can help people get to sleep. So far the company has used several celebrities as narrators, including singers Pink and Harry Styles.
Of course, Pink and Styles are alive and were available to read the stories so they could be recorded for the app. Stewart, ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest American actor of all time, died in 1997 at the age of 89. This meant he couldn’t read a story in the voice fans know and love from hit movies like “Rear Window,” “How The West Was Won” or “The Shootist.”
Instead, Calm used an AI tool called Respeecher. Trained by listening to recordings of Stewart, the app was able to reproduce his well-known tones and generate the story in his voice. In case anyone thinks this is disrespectful, Calm did it with the full approval of Stewart’s family. In a press release the actor’s daughter, Kelly Stewart Harcourt, said the family was “excited for our Dad to be the voice of Calm’s latest Sleep Story” and praised the technology that lets his many fans hear him in a new role. Stewart’s on-screen exploits have kept millions of people awake to the last reel; now we can listen to him as we drift off to sleep.
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