During Roger Ebert's much-anticipated appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Tuesday, the iconic film critic who has been voiceless for two years following throat surgery will be speaking with a computer-generated voice that reportedly sounds like the one he has lost.
During Friday's taping of the Oprah show, Ebert tested out his new voice and sounded "like himself for the first time in nearly four years since his battle and recovery from thyroid cancer left him voiceless," the Chicago Tribune reports.
Last summer, Ebert found the Web site of CereProc, a company based in Edinburgh, Scotland that uses "text to speech" technology to provide people with voices that "sound real" and "have character," according to the company's Web site.
Using mostly audio from Ebert's own voice on DVD commentaries of "Citizen Kane" and "Casablanca," the company created a voice that sounds like the one he lost.
Matthew Aylett, chief technical officer for CereProc, told the Tribune that it is the first time the company has produced a voice that sounded like the voice of the person using it.
"Roger has many years of experience in broadcasting," Aylett told the Tribune. "Obviously we couldn't record him but he did have a lot of audio material we could use to build his voice."
Ebert has expressed frustration about not being able to speak in his blog, but also noted that his writing has improved since he lost his voice.
Oprah's interview with Ebert will air at 9 a.m. CT on Tuesday, March 2. Check local listings here.