I Don’t Speak Chinese, But My ObEN Digital Doppelganger Does

I just received an audio clip, pressed play, and recognized my voice—but I was speaking Chinese.

In reality, I don’t know more than a cheerful “nihao” and a suitably grateful “xie xie.” But it was definitely my voice, and the company responsible is ObEN.

 ObEN, part of long-running technology incubator Idealab, wants to transform voice personalization using AI and speech synthesis. The company, founded in 2014 by Nikhil Jain and Yi (Adam) Zheng, holds several patents with 10 more pending, and counts renowned experts like USC’s Dr. Kevin Knight and UCLA’s Dr. Abeer Alwan as advisors.