“AI may indeed change the voice-over profession, but humans are still needed for creative and emotionally sensitive work,” feels Mumbai-based voice artist Neha Gugrani. Guglani is one of thousands of professionals working in the dying voice industry since the introduction of AI-powered voice services.
In 2022, artificial intelligence has impacted many aspects of our lives. From market research to smart home integration, companies around the world have accelerated AI in a variety of use cases. Regardless of the prevalence of AI, his one problem that has plagued professionals around the world has been the decline of jobs. The latest profession facing the threat of AI is voice acting. The voiceover industry is on the verge of transformation or potential decline as tech companies opt for AI narrators.
What could be seen as a catalyst for change is the recent deployment of AI-generated voice narration in the Apple Books app by Cupertino-based tech giant Apple. A new development adds four more human-like voices to the English-language romance and fiction books on the platform. Apple introduced his two voices, Jackson and Madison in the romance genre and Helena and Mitchell in the fiction genre. Apple unveiled its new tech in a humble way, but searching for “AI narration” in the app brings up a long list of audiobooks with AI-generated narration.
The latest development has provoked mixed reactions. In a way, those who foresee AI taking over their jobs confirm their fears. Organizations that have relied heavily on voice actors will see this as an opportunity. Given that companies that invest heavily in audiobooks don’t have to pay big bucks for voice actors, this is an opportunity.
Apple’s latest technology imbues the latest AI products with the voice of a human narrator. However, according to a review posted on arstechnica.com, the AI-generated narration was human-like, albeit with some anomalies, especially when it came to intonation. In audiobooks, it’s the moving performance that captivates the reader. AI-powered narration may be cost-effective, but it doesn’t always deliver what consumers want. Offer more content at the expense of a declining consumer base?
Amazon is currently the biggest player in the audiobook segment. According to technology company ReportLinker, the global audiobook market size is expected to reach about $20 billion by 2028. With the latest introduction, Apple is expected to pave the way for the adoption of AI voice services on various platforms, which could give it an edge. Via Amazon. Given the size of the market, there seems to be plenty of opportunities for voice-over artists around the world. But voiceover’s latest AI takeover could spell doom for millions of professionals.
Today, Apple Podcasts, audio drama podcasts from streaming apps like Audible, Audm, Google Aloud, LibriVox, and Spotify, are some of the most popular applications to hire audio professionals.
“AI-powered audio services have the potential to revolutionize narration. Text-to-speech (TTS) technology can generate human speech on computers. shows the inability of TTS to reproduce the nuances and complexities of the human voice that it can provide to add emotional depth and credibility to advertising, movies, and video games. When it comes to building emotional connections, many in the industry want to hire real people to effectively translate the stories they’re about to tell. voice services could certainly transform the voice-over profession, but humans are still needed for creative and emotionally sensitive work. As time goes on, it still feels like it has a different, even unique feel to it,” says Gugrani, who has worked on numerous podcasts and audiobooks.
Indian voice actors not only operate in the domestic market, but often work for foreign companies providing voices for a wide range of products and services. According to Gugrani, outsourced audio His content generation is priced at his $25-30 (Rs 2000-2500), mostly based on a subscription model and depending on the nature, gender and accent of the work. increase.
However, if AI audio is contested, similar voice services could cost up to a tenth of what professional voice actors charge. US voice actors are typically charged over $1000 to narrate a book, while AI narration will be around $50 to $100, according to observer.com’s report.
In India, the narration industry is growing at a steady pace. It is now dominated by actors, comedians, radio personalities and even amateurs. The advent of new technology and the proliferation of home his recording studios have made it easier for people to enter the industry. However, some experts feel that the introduction of AI will not change the outlook for voice acting in India.
“As AI narration gains more attention, the narration industry may be negatively impacted. No doubt you like voice acting, dubbing plays a very important role in a voice acting career in India, when you look at dubbing, you have a director, you have a voice actor, you have a lot of communication. It goes back and forth to shape the final performance, and I think this is difficult to achieve with AI at the moment given the variety of languages we have. When it comes to advertising, audiobooks, or dubbing, I feel that the spontaneous burst of creativity when it comes to expressing emotions is lacking. says Shiv Kanungo, who has lent his voice to
India’s bright spots
Kanungo feels that India’s voice industry is largely untapped. Despite the hype surrounding AI, the actor believes the industry will boom in the next five years given the unprecedented rise of OTT, the consumption of audiobooks and audio his dramas, and the growing popularity of platforms such as Audible and StoryTel. I feel that it presents
Apsara Iyengar, a theater expert at Vadodara who began her narration journey with a project based on IVR services, says AI’s foray into voice-based services won’t hurt the industry and paves the way for more possibilities. I feel.
“I have been narrating since 2008. The first projects I received were mostly IVR services from various institutions. , this has changed dramatically: even startups that used to offer artist-recorded IVR now offer AI-recorded audio, but what has changed is digital education and instructional videos. And so on, I started getting other projects that required some degree of explanation and communication. Narrators, storytellers, and actors have a secret ingredient that bots can’t, so they’re sure to get the job,” says Iyengar, and the human voice I would argue that it can never be replaced.
Technology has provided great tools for writers and voice actors to evaluate their work, but the introduction of AI narration marks a shift. Now more than ever, voice actors need to hone their storytelling skills. Over time, actors can only maintain their own brand.
The invention of ChatGPT shows how close AI has come to writing a book on its own. Technology experts feel the next leap will be in the area of voice-based services. The accuracy and adherence to the latest plagiarism rules seen in ChatGPT is proof enough to measure the sharpness of future AI narration. New technology is introduced to produce speech that offers human-like accuracy with proper intonation. Experts believe that AI narration will be a competitor, but that it will remain a competitor, and that there is still plenty of room for voice actors to get involved and monetize their skills.