If Clarence could hear this now.
Late Hollywood star Jimmy Stewart can now send you off to sleep by reading a bedtime story thanks to artificial intelligence and usage of the Calm app.
The voice of Stewart, who gained notoriety for films such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” and ” Rear Window,” appears on the app in a premium story called “It’s a Wonderful Sleep Story” and is billed as a “heartwarming new holiday tale,” reports Variety.
Approved by both Stewart’s estate and family, the sleep time app managed to re-create the voice of the Hollywood legend, who died in 1997 at the age of 89 due to pulmonary embolism, through AI voice-cloning technology.
“Well, hello. I’m James Stewart. But, well, you can call me Jimmy,” the voice of the “Vertigo” actor can be heard saying at the start of the story. “Tonight, I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a heartwarming story of love, of loss, of hope and of joy. But most of all, it’s a wonderful sleep story.”
In a statement to the outlet, Kelly Stewart Harcourt, one of Stewart’s daughters, said: “We are excited for our dad to be the voice of Calm’s latest Sleep Story.”
“It’s amazing what technology can do and wonderful to see Dad’s legacy live on this holiday season in new ways, like helping people find restful sleep and sweet dreams.”
Tina Xavie, chief marketing officer of CMG Worldwide, added: “Jimmy Stewart’s calming voice is one of the most iconic in movie history, and we’re thrilled to see it brought to the leading relaxation app on the market.”
“Thanks to advanced technology, we all get the joy of hearing Jimmy’s unique voice again,” she went on.
In order to ensure that Stewart’s voice was flawless, Calm partnered with the AI voice-cloning startup Respeecher, who employed a voice actor to read the script and mimic Stewart’s style of speech.
“It was essential, like in all other projects, that the project was done according to high ethical standards and respect, which Respeecher has advocated for many years,” Alex Serdiuk, Respeecher CEO and co-founder, explained.
“James Stewart is one of the most remarkable actors in US history. Re-creating his voice with AI was both a huge responsibility and an honor for Respeecher,” Serdiuk continued. “It was a way to pay tribute to his incredible career and all the good memories he left to people.”
Respeecher is also responsible for providing the voice of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker during his brief appearance in Disney’s “The Mandalorian” as well as the booming bass of James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader in the “Obi-wan Kenobi” series.
It was reported in September 2022 that Jones, 92, had retired from playing the iconic Sith Lord and sold the rights to his voice to the Ukrainian-based company for an undisclosed amount.
The Post previously reported that several celebrities, such as Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hanks, have fallen victim to AI voice-cloning that is done without their permission.
Johansson officially took legal action last month after an artificial intelligence app called Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar used the actress’ face and voice in an advertisement.
“We do not take these things lightly. Per our usual course of action in these circumstances, we will deal with it with all legal remedies that we will have,” the “Avengers” actress’ attorney told Variety at the time.
In early October, Hanks warned fans via Instagram of a promotional video, for a dental plan, that featured his likeness.
“Beware!!” Hanks, 67, wrote beneath a photo of his lookalike at the time. “There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me.”
“I have nothing to do with it,” the “Forrest Gump” star added.
“It’s a Wonderful Sleep Story” is currently available on the Calm App for premium subscribers.