Hibari Misora Concert Announced With VOCALOID:AI

Hibari Misora was a famous Japanese singer and actress who is perhaps most well known for the song Kawa no nagare no you ni, and who passed away in 1989.

So it must have caught some people off guard when NHK announced a special program called “Hibari Misora Resurrected With Artificial Intelligence (NHKスペシャル AIでよみがえる美空ひばり)” (working title) to air on September 29. Yamaha reported that they are making this possible with the newly announced VOCALOID:AI, their voice synth and A.I. technology that uses deep learning to recreate the late singer’s persona for a live concert performance!

Thirty years after her death, the late Misora’s image will be projected as a life-size 3D hologram on stage. Using VOCALOID:AI to recreate her voice, she will be singing an original song written by Yasushi Akimoto – the producer for Kawa no nagare no you ni – called “あれから / Arekara.” The new technology uses recorded data of Misora singing, and can reproduce her voice for both singing songs and speaking lines.

If some of this sounds familiar, it’s because similar projects have been attempted before. Fans may be reminded of Ueki-loid, hide, and the CeVIO voice bank HAL-O-ROID, which were all created with the aim of resurrecting the voice of a deceased singer.

However, VOCALOID:AI is an artificial intelligence program that does more than just play a singing voice; thanks to deep learning, it can even mimic the mannerisms and other peculiarities of the singer. In short, it aims to reproduce the entirety of the singer’s vocal identity.

Through this project, Yamaha aims to further the potential for voice synthesis technology to produce music and musical performances that can truly transcend time and captivate audiences of all generations.

The NHK special, Hibari Misora Resurrected with Artificial Intelligence, is scheduled to air on September 29 from 9:00 to 9:49 PM (JST).


Press releases on vocaloid.com, Yamaha’s official site, and NHK’s official site


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