We’ve all been there.
You’re scrolling on your phone while waiting for your Uber or at the doctor’s office, and an interesting article catches your eye. But it looks pretty lengthy, and there’s no way you’ll be able to read it all in time… so you save it for later, and then forget all about it.
Luckily, thanks to AI technology there’s now Podcastle AI, a third-party text-to-speech converter that allows you to convert articles, blogs, and news into audio podcasts.
Those “saved” articles you promised yourself you’d read but didn’t, can now easily be converted into podcasts where you can listen while running errands, working out, or driving.
Is it available now?
Yes, it’s as easy as just downloading the free extension on the Google Chrome Web Store.
It’ll then appear as an extension icon in the browser.
After signing up on their website, you can pick (mostly) any article, then click on the extension icon to turn the text into a podcast in just seconds… kinda like a music player!
Podcasting is getting its time to shine right now…
These days it seems like everyone is talking about having their own podcast (thanks, Joe Rogan).
The mastermind who noticed this shift is a young Armenian machine learning (ML) engineer, Artavazd Yeritsyan. After struggling to find the time to sit down and read all the literature in his field of study, he decided to just create a tool that would take the text and read it to him.
So that’s what he and his team of six IT specialists did.
But rather than trying to have a robotic voice read the article, they wanted to “teach” this AI program to think like a human and understand emotions (aren’t there horror movies about this?).
“All the current technologies that turn text into audio don’t do one important thing. They don’t understand emotions. They have a very robotic sound,” says Yeritsyan.
“My friends and I decided to make a tool that also understands the content and reads it considering the tonality.”
He kept in mind the 18-24-year-olds who would most benefit from this AI tech. Of course, anyone can use it, but Yeritsyan noticed the sheer amount of content that’s currently overwhelming the younger generation, especially with schoolwork.
What if I don’t want to have a robot’s voice read me bedtime stories?
If you don’t want a robot’s monotone voice reading something to you, don’t worry – Podcastle uses a human-like voice with punctuation-based pauses and tone to make it feel more natural… you also have the option for male or female voice.
There are still many improvements that need to be made. It’s currently only available in English, and only for computer use, with plans to have it on mobile soon.
The Podcastle crew hopes the AI will “learn” quickly and expand its current function to eventually help improve the fields of education, entertainment, and public speaking.
What do you think about Podcastle? Do you think this one step forward for man, or will it end like a bad sci-fi movie?
We’d love to read your thoughts, so please comment below!