01 Aug 2020: This AI-powered Chrome extension can turn any news into podcast
With so much information on the internet coupled with our fairly busy lives, it can often get overwhelming to keep a tab on everything that is happening in the world.
Listening to news, though less rewarding, is perceived to be less tedious that reading the lengthy articles. And that's where Podcastle, an AI-powered tool that instantly converts stories into podcasts, comes in handy.
Tool: Text-to-speech converter that uses AI, ML
Developed by ML engineer Artavazd Yeritsyan, Podcastle, in simple terms, is a third-party text-to-speech generator that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to convert news, articles, and blogposts into audio podcasts.
It can be installed as an extension on the Google Chrome browser and instantly clicked to produce and play the audio version of any story, be it some breaking news or a long feature.
Feature: Key highlights: Human-like (somewhat) voice, easy to use, instant results
The best thing about Podcastle is that it can work for most, if not all, publications, and play the audio output in a somewhat human-like voice (but there are tons of improvements needed), complete with punctuation-based pauses and breaks.
It is also relatively easy to use - just like a regular music player, with the results being produced in a matter of seconds.
Target audience: Product targeted at 18-24 year olds
Yeritsyan says Podcastle can be used by anyone but is mainly aimed at helping youngsters, aged between 18 and 24, consume news on-the-go, without letting them feel that a robot is talking to them.
"Our text-to-podcast converter based on machine learning is our unique offering. The podcasts we generate are very human-like and consider all the emotions and writer's tone of voice," he added.
Usage: How to use Podcastle?
To start using Podcastle, download and install the extension from the Chrome Web Store, click on it, and sign up on the Podcastle website.
Once that is done, your extension is ready to use; from there, you can go to any news website, click on any article, and tap on Podcastle's extension icon to turn its text into a podcast and start playing.
Fact: Note: It appears to work only in English
Podcastle only appears to be working in English at this stage. The team also claims it is working toward expanding the tool's scope by turning it into an audio content creator, which could help lecturers, educational institutions, and entertainers instantly create podcasts for their audience.