Skip to main content

This AI app just brought Hollywood icons back from the dead to read you PDFs

The ElevenLabs Reader app with Judy Garland reading.
ElevenLabs

Barely a week after unveiling its new Reader App, which can narrate virtually any piece of written text users present to it, ElevenLabs has already released a significant update for the AI-powered program.

On Wednesday, the audio AI startup announced that it will offer users the option to have their words spoken by one of four classic Hollywood stars: Burt Reynolds, Judy Garland, James Dean, and Sir Laurence Olivier as part of its “Iconic Voices Collection.”

Now you may be asking yourself, “how do I know that these voices are accurate, given that I wasn’t even alive during the Carter administration?” Turns out, ElevenLabs collaborated closely with the deceased stars’ estates to ensure that their digital avatars sound just like the actors themselves once did.

Introducing ElevenLabs Iconic Voices.

Listen to your favorite books and articles voiced by Judy Garland, James Dean, Burt Reynolds and Sir Laurence Olivier on our Reader App.

The app is completely free to download and use. Get it here: https://t.co/uooD5LVm6i pic.twitter.com/US5vIJ22AB

— ElevenLabs (@elevenlabsio) July 2, 2024

“It’s exciting to see our mother’s voice available to the countless millions of people who love her. Through the spectacular new technology offered by ElevenLabs, our family believes that this will bring new fans to Mama, and be exciting to those who already cherish the unparalleled legacy that Mama gave and continues to give to the world,” Liza Minnelli, daughter of Judy Garland, said in the announcement blog. The company suggests employing these voice avatars to narrate the classic literature they were famous for — Judy Garland reading The Wizard of Oz or Sir Olivier perform as Sherlock Holmes.

The four celebrities join a stable of more than a million user- and company-generated voices featured in the Reader App. With it, users can upload PDFs, copy and paste text, even link to URLs for the app to read back. The app is currently available on Apple devices exclusively, specifically anything running iOS and iPadOS 15 or later.

Its service is also restricted to the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. for now, though the company expects to expand to the EU market by July 11.

Andrew Tarantola
Andrew has spent more than a decade reporting on emerging technologies ranging from robotics and machine learning to space…
This app just got me excited for the future of AI on Macs
The ChatGPT website on a laptop's screen as the laptop sits on a counter in front of a black background.

In a year where virtually every tech company in existence is talking about AI, Apple has been silent. That doesn't mean Apple-focused developers aren't taking matters into their own hands, though. An update to the the popular Mac writing app iA Writer just made me really excited about seeing what Apple's eventual take on AI will be.

In the iA Writer 7 update, you’ll be able to use text generated by ChatGPT as a starting point for your own words. The idea is that you get ideas from ChatGPT, then tweak its output by adding your distinct flavor to the text, making it your own in the process. Most apps that use generative AI do so in a way that basically hands the reins over to the artificial intelligence, such as an email client that writes messages for you or a collaboration tool that summarizes your meetings.

Read more
OpenAI’s new ChatGPT app is free for iPhone and iPad
The ChatGPT website on an iPhone.

OpenAI has just launched a free ChatGPT app for iOS, giving iPhone and iPad owners an easy way to take the AI-powered tool for a spin.

The new app, which is able to converse in a remarkably human-like way, is available now in the U.S. App Store and will come to additional countries “in the coming weeks,” OpenAI said. Android users are promised their own ChatGPT app “soon.”

Read more
Best Buy Prime Day gaming laptop deals: MSI, Asus and more
Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.

With the savings that you can pocket from this year's Prime Day deals, now's an excellent time to purchase a new gaming laptop. These machines don't come cheap, but there are discounts galore from the event's Prime Day gaming laptop deals. Amazon isn't only the source of bargains though, as other retailers are trying to cash in on the online shopping frenzy. We've rounded up our favorite Best Buy Prime Day gaming laptop deals to show you, while also providing advice on how you can narrow down your choices among all of these amazing offers.
Our favorite Best Buy Prime Day gaming laptop deals

There's no shortage of options from this year's Best Buy Prime Day gaming laptop deals, but to help you make a decision before stocks run out, we've gathered the bargains worth buying below. Whether you're on the hunt for a budget-friendly device or you want a future-proof gaming laptop, there's something for you here. You're going to have to hurry though, as the more popular models among the offers we picked are probably already close to selling out.

Read more