BMW – Groundbreaking Project Gives Speech Back to Man Who Gave ALS a Voice

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Pat Quinn, the co-founder of 2014's Ice Bucket Challenge, which gave a voice to sufferers of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis [ALS], also known as Motor Neurone Disease [MND], spoke powerfully and eolquently about his and others' struggle with the disease.

Above: Pat Quinn

But four years on from the phenomenon of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the advancement of Quinn's ALS has meant he has lost the use of that voice. But Project Revoice, a collaboration between BWM Dentsu, Haystac, Lyrebird, Finch, Rumble Studios, Space 66 and the ALS Association, is an initiative that worked tirelessly to give Quinn a chance to speak again. 

Speech software has meant that people with ALS are able to use pre-recorded messages to communicate, but the BWM Dentsu Group worked with Canadian software partner Lyrebird to create a complete voice clone. This allows Quinn to speak freely and naturally in his own voice, rather than a ‘machine’ voice, when linked to his eye reader assistive technology, meaning that the man who gave ALS a voice now has his own voice back.

Above: Project Revoice - How to Recreate a Voice


“ALS takes and takes and takes," said Quinn. "This time I will take something back! For those living with ALS to know that they can still speak freely – in their own voice – even after ALS takes it away, will transform the way people live with this disease.”

“This new breakthrough will change the future of personal communication for people who are diagnosed with ALS from here-on,” said Brian Frederick, executive vice president of communications, ALS Association.

At the top of the page you can see the emotional film charting Project Revoice's progress as it works to restore Quinn's natural voice. And, above, another film from the campaign charts the work put into helping Quinn speak again. Below, Quinn explains what it means to lose your voice to ALS. 

Above: Pat Quinn explains what it means to lose your voice to ALS.

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