BTS agency to showcase collaboration project with AI voice synthesis tech startup Supertone in May

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : April 27, 2023, 17:39 Updated : August 31, 2023, 10:03

[Cover of Billboard Magazine]

SEOUL -- During an exclusive interview with Billboard, BTS creator Bang Si-hyuk announced that he would showcase a collaboration project with Supertone, an AI voice synthesis technology startup in South Korea. The AI company earlier acquired by Hybe has provided sound technology for Disney+'s drama series "Big Bet" to reproduce the voice of Choi Min-sik, a 60-year-old veteran actor who was playing a role of a young character in his 30s.
In an interview released on April 24, Bang said one of the collab projects is set to be disclosed in May 2023. The 50-year-old entrepreneur said the development of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology is one of Hybe's main strategies. Generative AI services are used to produce on-demand images, text, and videos. According to Acumen Research and Consulting, a market research firm, the global generative AI market is projected to reach $110.8 billion in 2030.
"I don't know how long human artists can be the only ones to satisfy human needs and human tastes," the chairman said, adding that his agency has been working with Supertone under the project titled "Project L."

Supertone has produced films, animations, audiobooks, and games using its sound technique. On January 31, Hybe secured a 56.1 percent stake in Supertone by investing 45 billion won ($33.5 million). The AI startup's voice synthesis technology will be combined with the music agency's production capability. 
The adoption of AI audio technology has gained momentum in South Korea's entertainment sector. In October 2020, singer-songwriter Hayeon, also known as the younger sister of Girls' Generation's Taeyeon, rolled out her debut single titled "Eyes On You" in collaboration with EvoM, South Korea's first AI composer developed by the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology.

A voice drama series based on a popular e-book titled "Welcome to Hugh-Nam-dong Bookstore" was released in October 2022. Out of 19 key members that appeared in the drama, AI voice actors played eight as well as seven extras.
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