Canal+ recreates the voice of Louis XIV to promote 'Versailles'
Campaign by BETC was based on data from the Sun King's medical records
Jun 05, 2018
To promote the final series of "Versailles," its steamy drama about Louis XIV, French broadcaster Canal+ last month came up with a stunt worthy of the hall of mirrors--recreating the voice of the Sun King himself.
This was no mean feat: while a campaign by The Times recently recreated the final speech of JFK using A.I., it could draw on his real voice, whereas of course there are no recordings of Louis XIV. Of course, one could argue that this made it easier as nobody knew what he sounded like; however agency BETC conducted meticulous research. It drew on his medical records, which included descriptions of everything from the structure of his skull to the shape of his vocal cords and lungs and even a mouth operation that forever changed his speech.The data was then run through a voice simulation program and synthetic speech experts were able to recreate his voice.
The synthetic voice, together with Google's artificial intelligence, allowed people to to "converse" with the King via a bot and he was even invited onto French chat shows to do so. However, unlike in the case study film seen here, he only spoke French.