AI is changing the way speech narration is done, which is causing problems for the audiobook business.
The area of audiobooks is already seeing how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing things.
AI technology can quickly make recordings that sound like people. This means that people who have usually made a living with their voices won’t be needed as much.
This has led to a big drop in business for many voice artists and narrators, who say that their workload and bookings have dropped sharply. AI-assisted recordings from companies like DeepZen can cut the cost of making an audiobook by a large amount compared to standard methods.
They use a database that was made by recording the voices of many stars speaking in different ways to make sure that the right licenses and royalties are paid.
But there are ethical issues because some companies use voice databases without paying for them or getting the right licenses. Even though they aren’t called AI-assisted records, there are thousands of audiobooks out there that use voices made from a databank. Some platforms follow ethical rules, but others take opinions from different places and mix them together to make a new voice that they say doesn’t belong to anyone. Several companies use this “gray area” to make money.
Traditional publishers are also using AI technology. Some are already using generative AI to make new texts, images, videos, and voices from current material without human help. Professional narration is still a big part of the audio book experience, but companies like Audible see a future where both human performances and material made by text-to-speech can live together. Big tech companies like Apple and Google are getting into the market for AI-narrated audio books. They want to make it easier for independent writers and small publishers to make audio books.
They want to open up the publishing business to more people and make it possible for old books that have never been recorded and new books that may not be profitable to record by hand.
Critics say that storytelling should stay a human activity. They say that the point of stories is to teach people how to be human. They worry that AI-made recordings don’t have the same emotional connection as recordings made by humans. But there is a worry that people will get used to machine-made versions and start to think of them as normal.
Because of this, there are calls for companies to be honest and say when AI-made parts are used in audio books.
Even though the rise of AI in the audiobook industry makes things harder for human voice actors, supporters think that the growing market will help both AI and human narrators in the long run, leading to more chances and recordings overall.