VOCALOID Yamaha's AI Companion Charlie [Private Vocaloid]

lIlI

Staff member
Moderator
Apr 6, 2018
682
The Lightning Strike
:charlie_lili:

Since he's using Vocaloid technology, I think this little lad deserves a thread:

Charlie is a little robot who uses automatic composition technology to communicate by singing. The appliance released Spring 2021.



Thanks uncreepy for translating this information!
Charlie's pronoun is "boku". (Cute, young-sounding way to say "I" usually used by boys and men.)

It looks like he has a tail. I can't tell if he has a hat on, or if it's ear phones + a bowl hair cut or a hat.

(This is the Instagram link: Login • Instagram )

Life is hard sometimes, so vent at Charlie to cheer up, he will sing to cheer you up. He is a dreamer, he is innocent yet somehow has a foul mouth, and he loves jokes.

They are hiring people living in Japan to try out the Charlie prototype and post about it on social media. You have to give it back after the trial period ends and you will get a free Charlie later.

The more you talk to Charlie, the more he can sing. He can tell you the weather and your horoscope and also chat with you. Charlie can dance. (Watch out, Miku.)
There will be more added to his feature list in the future.
 
Last edited:

Blue Of Mind

The world that I do not know...
Apr 8, 2018
619
Aaaaah, this is adorable! It's like having a similar program such as Alexa, Siri or Cortana being able to sing.

A few comments on the original video are also wondering if it uses Vocaloid, while also namedropping some banks.
 

lIlI

Staff member
Moderator
Apr 6, 2018
682
The Lightning Strike
Vocaloid is mentioned on his product page as a registered trademark, so I believe they're related. His voice actually sounds more robotic than most V4/5s, which I assume was a deliberate choice to match his 'robot friend' concept.
 

uncreepy

Retired (mostly)
Apr 9, 2018
1,605
Charlie's pronoun is "boku". (Cute, young-sounding way to say "I" usually used by boys and men.)

It looks like he has a tail. I can't tell if he has a hat on, or if it's ear phones + a bowl hair cut or a hat.

(This is the Instagram link: Login • Instagram )

Life is hard sometimes, so vent at Charlie to cheer up, he will sing to cheer you up. He is a dreamer, he is innocent yet somehow has a foul mouth, and he loves jokes.

They are hiring people living in Japan to try out the Charlie prototype and post about it on social media. You have to give it back after the trial period ends and you will get a free Charlie later.

The more you talk to Charlie, the more he can sing. He can tell you the weather and your horoscope and also chat with you. Charlie can dance. (Watch out, Miku.)
There will be more added to his feature list in the future.
 

Blue Of Mind

The world that I do not know...
Apr 8, 2018
619
I really want an English version of Charlie in the future, reading up on what Yamaha want him to be capable of. I just like the idea of an AI trying to cheer me up by telling a dirty joke or swearing. :ROFL:

Apparently, some people are already upset that Charlie will essentially be a private Vocaloid. To be honest, I don't mind his VB being private - his voice type is in the same niche as Gachapoid (too cutesy to make him sing in most genres), so I know he wouldn't sell very well based on his limited VB alone.
 

Stardust

Vocal Synth Enthusiast
Aug 14, 2020
173
I think it is cute. I am glad it is utilizing Vocaloid as well. I hope that means Yamaha still cares about it.

(I have always wondered if the reason why Yamaha did not care about Vocaloid 5 for so long was because they did not have much competition other then CeVIO, and dismissed CeVIO as a potential threat, for lack of better words, because of the engine sound. Now that they have SynthV and CeVIO AI and Pro, and possibly Neutrino, in the market, maybe they will get back into it. Either it be Yamaha making banks or new companies joining the vocal synth scene. Perhaps I am a bit too hopeful, but still:lily_smile_lili: Considering he is using AI, perhaps they are thinking of releasing a version of Vocaloid that can utilize AI technology as well as sample-based? I really am getting too hopeful here:clara_ani_lili:)

As for it being a private Vocaloid, I do not see why people would be upset by it. Even with him using the technology, I do not know if I would count him as a Vocaloid at all considering he has no engine to work off of(unless Yamaha plans to release a bank for him if he is successful). It is not like other private VBs where they worked off of the engine, but were never sold. I consider him as a product that utilizes the technology.
 

uncreepy

Retired (mostly)
Apr 9, 2018
1,605
Don't think I've forgotten about Charlie. On January 6th, they started a 2nd round of monitor recruitment. Recruitment ends on the 24th, then the period they have to send feedback goes from Feb 13th ~ March 7th.

They released data collected during the last recruitment period here.
Apparently, Charlie is aimed at women in their 20s~30s who are stressed out and living alone. The focuses of destressing are getting advice, sorting out problems, and providing sympathy (this last point was wanted by almost 60% of respondents). The causes of stress are personal things like relationships and work, which might be hard to tell others about. Things like listening to music help relax and change mood.

Charlie helps when you are lonely and feel painfully sad, Charlie communicates through song to help relax (Yamaha recommends listening to music before bed to help with feeling physical fatigue). 30 people got selected during the first recruitment period, but they got more people wanting to help than they expected, so that's why they're doing the 2nd recruitment period.

Charlie is honest, has a personality (positive and romantic + he dreams of being a musician), and is humorous. Charlie knows 30 musical genres that match the vibe of the conversation (upbeat tempo for fun conversations, slow tempo for laid-back ones). Sometimes Charlie talks to you unprompted because of a motion censor, repeated conversations help improve Charlie's conversation and musical ability.

Guess we will have to wait until March to find out more about Charlie's development. I didn't expect to hear that Charlie is aimed at women.
 

uncreepy

Retired (mostly)
Apr 9, 2018
1,605
Today is the last day (in Japan) of the 2nd recruitment period.

I looked again at the results of the last recruitment period that they had published and I realized I had missed the part where Yamaha said they were aiming to release Charlie for sale in Spring 2021. I Googled when Spring is supposed to range from and it is March 20th through June 20th, so maybe we actually will get Charlie soon?
 

Blue Of Mind

The world that I do not know...
Apr 8, 2018
619
Soo if Charlie becomes available, like the thread title suggests, he'll be a private Vocaloid, like Akikoloid-Chan.
Not "private" in the traditional sense if he's commercially released - he's meant to be a robotic assistant. He uses Vocaloid technology, but you won't be able to edit his voice in V5.
 
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Leon

AKA missy20201 (Elliot)
Apr 8, 2018
808
$100 somebody buys him just to see if they can rip his VB somehow 😂

He is cute though. I don't think I'd spend the money for it (if I even spoke Japanese LOL) but it's a cute idea for people who might like a lil singing assistant buddy. I wonder how much he'll end up costing? I don't think that was stated anywhere for sure 🤔
 

uncreepy

Retired (mostly)
Apr 9, 2018
1,605
$100 somebody buys him just to see if they can rip his VB somehow 😂

He is cute though. I don't think I'd spend the money for it (if I even spoke Japanese LOL) but it's a cute idea for people who might like a lil singing assistant buddy. I wonder how much he'll end up costing? I don't think that was stated anywhere for sure 🤔
I feel like I'm so obsessed with Charlie for some ungodly reason that if he doesn't cost A TON then I want to import him.
:ring_ani_lili:

But I don't plan on doing anything to extract his voice or even try to open him up. I would probably record him talking and share it on Twitter or something, though.

Yamaha didn't mention a price yet, they only said they plan on releasing him during Spring. I don't think we'll know for sure until they (hopefully) release the results of the 2nd campaign like they did with the 1st one. They still haven't updated their news section other than attaching a note at the bottom of their old post from January to say the campaign is now over. It took about 2 months for them to release the info after the 1st campaign, so they might just remain quiet until he's ready for sale or something.

I'm still waiting for them to update the Feature List page because at the bottom it says they will announce more details in the future.
 

uncreepy

Retired (mostly)
Apr 9, 2018
1,605
Yeah, I know I am obsessed with Charlie (don't judge me lol) but I noticed 2 things today:


Charlie's mega cute packaging:
charl.png


And I found a PDF from last year containing a few more tasty tidbits about the Charlie project.
Source: https://www.yamaha.com/ja/news_release/2020/20102701/pdf/2010270101.pdf
  • Current Charlie for the monitoring is a prototype, they will continue to develop the technology.
  • Charlie is supposed to change the way people interact with music other than just listening and playing (aka by adding communication).
  • Aimed at being more emotional than normal, monotonous communication.
  • Gives you music and relaxation depending on your mood + helps give you more opportunity to hear music in your busy daily life when you otherwise might not have heard much that day.
  • Charlie's design is supposed to be warm and easily blend into your room's interior.
 

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