Book recording storytellers say artificial intelligence is as of now removing business
In New York: Audio book industry professionals assert that their field is already undergoing transformation as people prepare for the disruptive effects of AI on work and daily life.
With assembly-line speed, AI can produce recordings with a human-like sound while eschewing at least some of the services of human professionals who have for years made a living using their voices.
A large number of them are as of now seeing a sharp drop off in business.
For the past two decades, Tanya Eby has worked as a professional narrator and full-time voice actor. She lives in a home with a recording studio.
However, in the past six months, her workload has decreased by half. In a normal year, her bookings would last until August, but now they only run through June.
Similar declines are reported by many of her coworkers.
She stated, “It seems to make sense that AI is affecting all of us,” despite the fact that other factors could be at play. Although experts claim that thousands of audiobooks that are currently available make use of “voices” generated from a databank, there is no label that specifically identifies AI-assisted recordings as such.
DeepZen, one of the most cutting-edge options, offers prices that can cut the cost of making an audiobook to less than one-fourth of what it would be for a traditional project.
The little London-based organization draws from a data set it made by recording the voices of a few entertainers who were approached to talk in various profound registers.
According to DeepZen CEO Kamis Taylan, “we sign a license agreement for every voice that we are using, and we pay for the recordings.”
He continued, “We pay royalties based on the work that we do” for each project. Eby stated that not everyone upholds that standard.
She stated that “all these new companies are popping up that are not as ethical” and that some of them use voices from databases without paying for them.
Taylan acknowledged that “there is that grey area” being exploited by various platforms.
“They take your voice, my voice, the voices of five other people, and combine them to make a single voice… They say it doesn’t belong to anyone.”
Dima Abramov, the CEO of Speechki, a startup based in Texas, said that the company uses both its own recordings and voices from existing databanks.
Yet, that is done solely after an agreement has been marked covering utilization freedoms, he said.
Coexistence in the future?
The five largest publishing houses in the United States did not respond to inquiries for comment.
However, experts stated that a number of traditional publishers are already utilizing so-called generative AI, which can generate texts, images, videos, and voices from previously published content without the need for human intervention.
A spokesperson for that Amazon subsidiary, which is a major player in the audiobook industry in the United States, stated, “Professional narration has always been, and will remain, core to the Audible listening experience.”
“Nonetheless, as text-to-discourse innovation improves, we see a future in which human exhibitions and text-to-discourse produced content can coincide.” The promising business of digitally narrated audio books is being pursued by all the major US technology companies that are deeply involved in the rapidly developing field of artificial intelligence.