VMLY&R works with four-pronged partnership to aid those with MND
The partnership consists of Dell Technologies, Intel, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Rolls-Royce
21 February 2022
Dell Technologies and Intel, in partnership with the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Rolls-Royce, have worked with VMLY&R to create “I Will Always Be Me,” a first-of-its-kind book for people living with motor neurone disease (MND) that banks their voices as they read aloud.
MND is a neurodegenerative condition that deteriorates muscular nerve cells, ultimately taking away a person’s ability to speak over time. By integrating voice banking technology with the difficult task of explaining MND to loved ones, the project simplifies and humanizes the experience and encourages individuals to take action earlier in their diagnosis.
Written by New York Times bestselling author Jill Twiss, the book is created from the perspective of a person living with MND and explains what they will be going through in a thoughtful, informative way through an immersive digital experience. To launch the project, a documentary was made showing a group of people with MND and their families as they experience the book for the first time.
1/4VMLY&R — I Will Always Be Me
2/4VMLY&R — I Will Always Be Me
3/4VMLY&R — I Will Always Be Me
4/4VMLY&R — I Will Always Be Me
How it works:
When visiting the website, people can learn about the program on the homepage and start the recording experience. The book opens, and as the user reads through the book to their loved ones, their voice is automatically recorded.
Every sound necessary to create a digital voice is embedded in the story naturally, so by the time the reader completes the book, their digital voice can be processed quickly.
Once all pages are recorded, they can review their recording and re-record pieces as necessary.
If they’re ready to get a digital/synthetic voice created, they can share their recording with SpeakUnique to request a digital voice.
They can also share their recorded version of the book with friends and family via a unique link.
Supporting those living with MND:
Voice banking is an empowering way to maintain identity and personal expression by creating a digital replica that can be used as the disease progresses. The process involves extracting specific sounds from the recording and aligning them with pre-written text. An algorithm then extrapolates unique voice characteristics (and based on gender, age, accent, etc.) to create a synthetic voice that can be installed on any assistive technology device.
Starts the process earlier (while voice is intact), as that's the best way to get a good digital voice before the person living with MND fully loses their own voice.
Humanizes the experience - can bank one’s voice from home, using their own device, surrounded by loved ones as a shared/meaningful experience.
Allows people living with MND to bank one's voice as a seamless, connected experience vs. the current way of reading disconnected phrases into a microphone.
“It’s not often you get to build your client’s brand and push humanity forward, all at the same time,” said Wayne Best, CCO, VMLY&R New York. “Through the power of creativity, collaboration and technology, we've created an advanced voice banking tool that solves a complex problem in the simplest and most human way possible."
Wayne Best – Chief Creative Officer
Niraj Zaveri – Executive Creative Director
Justin Ebert – Executive Creative Director
Tal Shub – Creative Director
Carlos Pabon – Creative Director
Rachel Krouse – Executive Business Lead
Allie Ritter – Group Director, Client Engagement
Ally Reis – Account Supervisor
Jenny Anderson – Senior Account Manager
Saira Khan – Associate Account Manager
Bobby Jacques – Group Executive Producer
Dan Bradbury – Senior Producer
Allison Raich – Senior Producer
Louisa Gargiulo – Senior Producer
Fernando Martinez – Director of Production, Experience Innovation
Maggie Diaz – Senior Content Production Business Manager
Theresa Notartomaso - Executive Music Producer
Karli James – Music Production Assistant
Jennifer Bonhomme - Managing Director of Strategy & Insights
Jorik Houweling - Strategy Director
Megan Mills - Group Director, Client Engagement
Ashley Pryor – Group Director, Client Engagement
Marissa Schulz - Director, Client Engagement
Liz Matthews – SVP of Global Brand
Rachael Henke - Senior Director, B2B Campaigns & Talent Attraction
Valerie Daubert – Strategic Initiatives Lead and Project Manager
Peggi Kaley – Marketing Director, Global Customer Engagements
Sonia Sharma – Marketing Campaign Manager
Amanda Metti - Global Sponsorship Lead
Jackie Keating - Social Impact Marketing
Talia Hill – Corporate Communications
Dayne Turbitt - Senior Vice President & GM, UK
Ilana Lassman – Head of Social Impact and Corporate Sponsorships, UK&I
John Coyne - VP/GM, Brand, Creative & Media
Kari Lemiere-Mullan – Director of Marketing Strategy, Brand Storytelling & Partnerships
Karen Frey – Marketing Specialist
Kelly Lynch – Brand Strategist, Partner Brand Campaigns & Corporate Sponsorships
Sarah Allen, UK Communications
Lama Nachman, Director of Human & AI Systems Research Lab
Darryl Adams - Director of Accessibility
Nicholas Day - Global Sales, Dell Account
Jason Priest, Global Sales & Marketing, Dell Consumer/Small Business
Motor Neuron Disease Association
Nick Goldup – Director of Care Improvement
Richard Cave – Project Manager SLT
Stuart Moss – Head of IT Innovation
Jill Twiss - Author
Nicholas Stevenson - Illustrator
Borderland: Production Company
Simon Frost – Director & Director of Photography
Ben Hanson – Director & Director of Photography
Zoe Barlow – Managing Director & Executive Producer
Frances Ellis – Production Manager
Lili Bo Therin – Production Assistant
Alice Smith – Chief Executive Officer
Jeremy Jones – Digital Developer
Oliver Watts – Chief Technology Officer & Speech Scientist
Siddharthan Chandran – Advisor
Jam3: Front-End Developers
Florian Root – Associate Executive Producer
Helen Tucker-Lalloo – Executive Producer
Sean Crawford – Group Director of Production
Tim Blokker – Senior Design Strategist
Dirk van Ginkel – Executive Creative Director
Elisabetta Balconi – Creative Director & Experience Designer
Victoire Douy – Senior Interactive Designer
Ben Wager – Technical Director
Thomas Van der Meer – Lead Frontend Developer
Audio Post by Post Human
James Dean Wells – Executive Producer
Sloan Alexander - Creative Lead & Chief Engineer
Rob Suchecki - Post Producer
Patient Film Composers:
Adam del Ruedas del Rio
Partner Film Composers:
John Chris Barnes
Adam del Ruedas del Rio
The Mill: Post Production
James Tillett – Colorist
Ashley Woods – Color Assist
Evan Bauer – Sr. Color Producer