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UK News

Christian meditation app launches world's first robot Bible reader

by Premier Journalist

A Christian app has released the world's first-ever audio version of the Bible read in its entirety by an AI voice.

'Soultime', which has been likened to popular mental health apps 'Calm' and 'Headspace' walks users through daily Christian meditations to encourage relaxation and relieve anxiety.

This week the makers of the app, which has been endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, announced they had developed and released the world's first AI (Artificial Intelligence) reading of the entire Bible, amounting to 100 hours of audible scripture.

Following the exciting development, they said:

"Soultime evaluated a range of text-to-speech platforms but found Google’s Wavenet the most natural sounding. However, because the Bible text is extremely complex, Soultime had to work hard to modify the basic reading to create something that both sounded natural and was truly enjoyable to listen to.

"AI readings have some great advantages. Having developed the initial version, further versions can be easily produced in different accents, genders or languages. Also as text-to-speech voices improve over time, the readings can be easily updated.

"There were a lot of teething problems in development. One of the most comical issues was with the most famous of all Psalms, Psalm 23. Wavenet for some reason couldn’t pronounce “for his name’s sake” properly and insisted on saying “for his name’s saké” - as in the Japanese alcoholic spirit. Maybe it tells you something about how the Silicon Valley elite spend their time!"

Soultime finally blended the readings with original music. 

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “Soultime is a wonderful app. I warmly recommend it.”

Comedy actress Miranda Hart added: “Soultime is a beautiful, unique way to meet our ever-important core needs of connection and peace.”

Soultime said that they are now poised to develop the Bible reading in different accents, genders and languages and will "improve the readings each year as better voice models are released over time".

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