In an ever-evolving world, disruptive technologies are rapidly transforming all industry sectors, and the audio industry is no exception. In particular, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a powerful ally in support, bringing massive and accelerating changes to the field.
What is the cause of this? Well, let’s just say that thanks to its ability to learn, adapt and automate complex tasks, artificial intelligence has found fertile ground in the audio industry and, as in other fields, is doing things more efficiently than humans. In the past, voiceover was a domain reserved for talented voice actors and professional voice talent whose services were expensive and limited in their availability to develop the skills to which they had become so dedicated. Despite that, the advent of artificial intelligence has “democratized the field,” giving everyone faster and cheaper access to real, high-quality voices.
Today, thanks to machine learning algorithms and neural networks, AI-powered voice-over platforms can generate synthetic human voices that are very difficult to distinguish from real ones. These virtual voices can be adjusted in pitch, mood, style, and accent, providing an almost infinite range of possibilities. Furthermore, production speed has increased exponentially, reducing lead times and responding more quickly to market demands.
For example, Meta has recently developed an AI called Voice Box that can replicate human voices and perform speech generation tasks. With more than 50,000 hours of recording and transcription (using the massive data that users give for free while using Facebook or Instagram, by the way…), the model speaks six languages and edits, samples, and creates sounds. Voice Box can enable blind people to use a friend’s voice to read text messages with an assistant, creating a virtual assistant with a more natural voice. The technology can also be used to edit audio tracks in videos and provide voices for non-playable characters in virtual universes. However, due to potential risks of abuse (such as phone scams or cybersecurity breaches), the Meta model will not be released to the public but will be available to interested developers. This innovation demonstrates the ability of artificial intelligence to recreate the human voice and its impact in a variety of areas, including accessibility and multimedia content creation.
More and more software tools are appearing every day, all offering incredible services: Speechify, Speechmaker, Clipchamp, Murf, Lovo.ai, Play.ht, Resemble.ai, and it’s really hard to believe that in the future humans will ever work in this profession again. As with everything, this presents both advantages and challenges that have a significant impact on both industry professionals and consumers.
On the positive side, AI democratizes dubbing, allowing more people to create high-quality content at lower costs. Industry professionals can use AI-powered voice generation tools to expand their offerings and reach a wider audience. Also, the speed of production has subsequently increased, reducing lead times and increasing efficiency. Nevertheless, this development also presents challenges: competition is increasing for industry professionals as more and more people use AI speech-generation tools, and the need to stand out and provide unique value becomes critical. In addition, artificial intelligence can replace traditional voice actors and voice talent to some extent, raising questions about the preservation and artistic quality of the work (if you like the subject, check this article about how Hollywood studios want their AI replicas — for free, forever). Now, from a consumer perspective, AI offers more choice and customization. Consumers can use different voices and sound styles to suit their needs and preferences. Yet, ethical and authenticity concerns can also arise, especially when synthetic human voices are generated that are indistinguishable from real voices.
When predicting the future direction of the backup industry, it is important to recognize that technology trends are unpredictable and can bring surprises. Throughout history, we have witnessed seemingly disruptive advances, such as the cassette tape that challenged traditional assumptions. At the time, many in the audio industry feared the end of the recording studio, even though technology continued evolving and cassettes are some weird retro objects that millennials collect and centennials observe with scientific curiosity. In this regard, it is difficult to predict with certainty how artificial intelligence in duplication will develop.
We may see even more impressive advances in synthetic voice generation, personalization, and the integration of artificial intelligence into content creation. The key is to be open to the possibility that the future may surprise us again and to take advantage of the opportunities that these unpredictable trends in technology bring. Concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs are understandable, but history shows that technology is creating new opportunities. AI increases our skills and creates new personas. It is very important to be open to learning and developing skills that AI can’t replace, such as creativity and social skills. We need to use AI ethically and develop regulations that protect workers’ rights. Cooperation between man and machine is essential.
If you are interested in topics like this, be sure to follow our blog, and, if you need professional advice for your audio, film, television, commercial, or video game projects, Enhanced Media Sound Studio will be happy to take your work to the next level of quality.