AI

ElevenLabs’ voice-generating tools launch out of beta

Comment

Image Credits: metamorworks / Getty Images

ElevenLabs, the viral AI-powered platform for creating synthetic voices, today launched its platform out of beta with support for more than 30 languages.

Using a new AI model developed in-house, ElevenLabs says that its tools are now capable of automatically identifying languages, including Korean, Dutch and Vietnamese, and generating “emotionally rich” speech in those languages.

In combination with the new model, ElevenLabs customers can leverage the platform’s voice-cloning tool to speak across the almost 30 languages without first having to type text.

“ElevenLabs was started with the dream of making all content universally accessible in any language and in any voice,” ElevenLabs CEO and co-cofounder Mati Staniszewski said in a statement. “With this release, we’re one step closer to making this dream a reality and making human-quality AI voices available in every dialect. Our text-to-speech generation tools help level the playing field and bring top quality spoken audio capabilities to all the creators out there.”

Founded by Staniszewski, who previously worked at Palantir, and his childhood friend Piotr Dabkowski, an ex-Google employee, ElevenLabs has made headlines over the past few months for reasons both good and abhorrent. Inspired by the mediocre dubbing of American movies Staniszewski and Dabkowski watched growing up in Poland, the pair set about designing a platform that could do better — employing AI of course.

ElevenLabs launched in beta in late January, and picked up steam rather quickly — owing to the high quality of its generated voices and generous free tier. But as alluded to earlier, the publicity hasn’t been consistently positive — particularly once bad actors exploited the platform for their own ends.

The infamous message board 4chan, known for its conspiratorial content, used ElevenLabs’ tools to share hateful messages mimicking celebrities like actor Emma Watson. Elsewhere, The Verge’s James Vincent was able to tap ElevenLabs to clone targets’ voices in a matter of seconds, generating audio samples containing everything from threats of violence to expressions of racism and transphobia.

In response, ElevenLabs said that it would introduce a set of new safeguards, like limiting voice cloning to paid accounts and providing a new AI detection tool.

ElevenLabs has yet to grapple with the other controversy brewing around its platform and other platforms like it, though: their threat to the voice acting industry.

Motherboard writes about how voice actors are increasingly being asked to sign away rights to their voices so that clients can use AI to generate synthetic versions that could eventually replace them. Meanwhile, internal emails seen by The New York Times indicate that Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest game publishers in the world, is working on tools for AI-assisted “voice cloning.”

It would appear that ElevenLabs sees this as the natural progression of things, touting its work with publishers like Storytel; media platforms like TheSoul Publishing and MNTN for audiobooks and radio content; and publishers like Embark Studios and Paradox Interactive for video games, (Storytel and TheSoul Publishing are strategic investors). The company claims that it has more than a million registered users across the creative, entertainment and publishing spaces who’ve created 10 years’ worth of audio content.

ElevenLabs, which recently raised $19 million from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz and DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman at a $99 valuation, plans to eventually extend its AI models to voice dubbing — following in the footsteps of startups like Papercup and Deepdub and building what it calls “a foundation to be able to transfer emotions and intonation from one language to another.”

Beyond this, ElevenLabs says it plans to introduce a mechanism that’ll allow users to share voices on the platform, although the details remain hazy.

More TechCrunch

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine