As massive tech companies continue to explore and create more AI products, audiobook narration is the first of many industries to experience an AI driven layoff
Advanced AI tools are now able to create perfect human-like voice overs at humanly-impossible speeds, offering far better costs to audio book creators thus narrowing down jobs for audiobook narrators who once earned a living from this industry.
Voiceover and narration professionals, running a service business with multiple clients, reported that they have noticed a sharp decline in the number of their clients since a lot of their previous customers are now using AI tools.
Tanya Eby, a full-time voice actor and professional narrator, has been in the business for over 20 years and works from her home studio.
Eby claims that ever since the introduction of AI voice overs, she has seen her workload get cut by half. Her bookings which previously used to be extended to August are now running through June only.
“It seems to make sense that AI is affecting all of us,” said Eby while talking about the negative effects AI has had on her work.
AI audio generation companies such as DeepZen are now offering voiceovers at a fourth of the cost thus making them more cost effective for audiobook publishers.
AI voiceover tools such as DeepZen use the voices of several voice actors, who are asked to speak in a number of different ways and emotions thus providing the AI with a large data bank to train itself.
Once the AI is trained using several voices, it develops a voice of its own, making it super unique and sellable.
Defending this practice, DeepZen CEO Kamis Taylan said that “every voice that we are using, we sign a license agreement, and we pay for the recordings.”
Taylan however agreed that there are some companies that are training their AI systems through illegally downloaded voice overs from massive databases without ever paying the voice over artists.
Once trained the AI develops a voice of its own and it’s almost impossible to detect the voices that it has used to train itself.
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