Artificial Intelligence

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to produce voiceovers and its effect on the industry has been a topic of serious discussion lately. The latest round of debate started around some recent developments:


  1. When the producers of the Anthony Bourdain documentary "Roadrunnner" used AI to simulate the late chef's voice.

  2. When the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences (SOVAS) published an article regarding voiceovers and Artificial Intelligence

  3. When voice actor Bev Standing sued TikTok for using her voice without her permission.

  4. When Voice123 published a survey regarding Artificial Intelligence and the opinions of voice seekers.


There is a lot to unpack here so I suggest you read the above publications and check out the other blog entries & articles out there regarding the subject.


How much will Artificial Intelligence disrupt the voiceover industry? Nobody knows. I think it will depend on:


  • How much voice seekers care if the narrator is an AI

  • How much listeners care if the narrator is an AI

  • What agents, SAG-AFTRA, and Pay-to-Play sites will do to protect voice actors

I think that eventually many of the lower-tier narrators will lose their livelihood. There is no hard data to support this, but did you know that many audio book listeners increase the playback speed? All of that hard work narrators are doing to include nuance and subtlety in their narration is never noticed. I have a feeling many listeners will not care if an AI narrates many of the audio books they listen to since they will speed it up anyway nor will they care about whether many other genres of voiceover use it either. Many people don't give a moment's thought to whom or what is narrating most of the the content they listen to, anyway.


TIP OF THE WEEK


Yes, Artificial Intelligence is already beginning to disrupt some aspects of the voiceover industry. Yes, some voice actors may lose their livelihood eventually. The big question is, is that going to be YOU?


Ask yourself these questions:


  • What is the ceiling of your talent, your skill sets, your marketing acumen, and your intestinal fortitude? Is that ceiling high enough to keep you in the voiceover industry?

  • What are you doing to protect your voice when you audition for and book projects?

  • Are you willing to license your voice to an AI company?

You need to answer these questions ASAP and do whatever you can to stay educated and relevant.


RESOURCES & RECOMMENDATIONS


In this new section of the VO Strategist Blog, I will occasionally suggest stuff that may help your voiceover business. Some of these suggestions may include an Amazon Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you click on the link and purchase the item in question, I get a few cents at no extra cost to you.


Today's recommendation: shock mounts! Last year I bought the Eggsnow universal shock mount & mic clip. The problem is that a few of the rubber bands broke and apparently Eggsnow has no website, contact info, or any way of buying replacement rubber bands (I bought it on Amazon, BTW). Since I'm not interested in playing the guessing game of what size the rubber bands are and ordering from someone else, I decided to get a new shock mount.