Not every voice you hear online these days comes from a human tongue. As artificial intelligence continues to grow increasingly advanced, organizations are finding an increasingly wide range of uses for the technology—including producing AI voices. From podcasts to audiobooks and everything in-between, these synthetic voices are used to produce a wide range of materials.
Whether you are trying to decide which type of text-to-speech solution is best for your next project or you are simply figuring out which type is best for your own listening preferences, there are several important factors to consider.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what advancements in AI mean for the voice-over industry and how artificial voices compare to voice-overs produced by voice actors who use their own voice.
What are AI voices?
AI voices are narrations produced via an AI voice generator that relies on machine learning to replicate high-quality, natural-sounding speech. In the past, robot voice-overs were produced using a database of pre-recorded words. However, this technology yields choppy, unnatural-sounding audio that is easy to identify as being a robot voice. AI voice technology, however, is able to produce a much more realistic voice through deep learning algorithms.
A voice assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri are two well-known examples of AI voice-over technology. Speech synthesis technology such as Speechify that converts digital text into human-sounding speech is another great example of AI technology in action. In both cases, AI speech technology is used to produce a human-like voice that is much more pleasant to listen to than robotic recordings.
What are voice-overs?
A voice-over is a narration produced by a human voice actor with their own voice. Most pre-recorded materials such as audiobooks, podcasts, and commercials are still produced in this manner, relying on voice-over artists to record themselves reading the material aloud.
Voice talent is still in high demand and remains a popular freelancer career. However, AI voices have become an increasingly common alternative to professional voice artists, and many projects no longer rely on a real human to produce human speech.
What is the difference between AI voices and voice-overs?
When comparing and contrasting the benefits of AI voices compared to voice-overs, there are a few important factors to take into account. Starting with the pros of AI voices, it is much cheaper and faster to produce audio via AI rather than relying on voice actors. Text-to-speech software is capable of converting any text into human-sounding audio in real-time, whereas producing a voice-over is often a lengthy project that can cost thousands of dollars or more. Editing or updating a voice-over that is produced via AI is also much easier than editing and updating a voice-over that features real human voices.
Thanks to the fast turnaround times and lower costs allowed by AI voices, more and more businesses are choosing AI voice generators for their voice-over needs. However, there are still a few pros to working with voice actors, as well. As deep learning technology continues to advance, AI voices are getting better and better at producing high-quality, natural-sounding audio—but they still aren’t able to match the full capabilities of a talented voice actor. A voice actor will still be able to identify things such as tones and accents more effectively than an AI voice generator, meaning that traditional voice-overs are often a little more natural-sounding than AI voices.
AI voices are good for the voice-over industry. Here’s why…
Disruptive technology such as AI is often frightening, but there are several good reasons why AI voices are a positive development for the voice-over industry. AI voices allow businesses of all sizes to produce high-quality voice-overs where in the past such projects were only affordable for larger companies. This has given rise to a lot of exciting projects that would have otherwise never been possible.
As for voice-over artists who are concerned that AI voices are going to put them out of business, AI voices can come close but can never be completely indistinguishable from real voices—meaning the demand for live voice talent will always exist, even if AI voices are used more frequently instead of live actors. As it stands now, though, voice actors are still a vital part of the voice-over industry, capable of producing the best possible narrations for companies that can afford the time and expense that working with voice actors entails. This provides more exciting opportunities for voice actors who would rather work on big projects than small ones that could be covered by an AI voice.
Along with being a positive development for the voice-over industry, AI voices offer a number of other benefits, as well. Tools such as Speechify, for example, allow users to convert any digital document or webpage into speech, turning e-books into audiobooks at no extra cost, making it easier to study online material, assisting those who are vision impaired, and much more. This helps increase the overall demand for voice-over talent for written text.
Thanks to all of these advantages, AI voice-over technology is here to stay—and if you are a business owner looking to start using more audio in your marketing efforts, there are several effective ways to leverage AI voices.
Use cases for AI voices
AI voice generators offer a lot of impressive functionalities and can be used in a variety of business applications. A few popular use cases for AI voices include:
AI voices for sonic branding
There’s a lot that goes into creating a recognizable brand, from the company logo to the color scheme that it employs to the tone and messaging of its written content. If your company uses voice-overs in its customer-facing materials, the voice used to produce those materials is a part of your branding as well. This is known as “sonic branding.” By enabling you to create custom voices that can be used for any project, AI voices make sonic branding an affordable goal for companies that cannot justify hiring a single spokesperson to produce all of their voice-over material.
AI voices for personable engagement
No one likes to talk to a robot, but having a live representative handle every customer support ticket is something that many businesses cannot afford. AI voices, though, are much more natural-sounding, leading to more personable and pleasant customer support interactions.
AI voices for multilingual customer interactions
If hiring a customer service representative to handle every customer interaction is something most companies can’t afford, hiring representatives who speak all of the same languages as your customers is even more unfeasible. AI voices, on the other hand, are capable of producing speech in any language, making them a highly convenient tool for multilingual customer interactions. For example, Speechify’s text-to-speech AI voices come in dozens of languages!
Thanks to the time and money-saving benefits of AI voices along with the ever-increasing voice quality that these voice generators are able to offer, AI voices are poised to play a central role in the future of the voice-over industry. If you would like to see for yourself the many advantages of AI voices, be sure to download Speechify today!
People also ask
Can AI recognize voices?
AI voice recognition is a different technology than AI voice generators. However, many tools feature both technologies. Virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa, for example, are capable of producing AI voices as well as recognizing and interpreting human speech.
What is the best AI voice?
Some of the most popular AI voice-over tools available today include tools such as:
- Streams Speak
Can AI copy your voice?
In a feat that was both impressive and frightening at the same time, Chinese tech giant Baidu announced the ability to clone human voices from just 3.7 seconds of audio. In the future, voice cloning is likely to become a prominent part of the voice-over industry. With Speechify, you can customize the AI voice for text-to-speech audio to sound as close to the type of voice you would like to hear as possible.