September 23, 2021 at 6:20 pm #4583
*Please do not share this link outside of narrator.life* as our guest agreed to the recording on the condition that it remain within this group.
Thanks!September 23, 2021 at 9:39 pm #4586
Thank you Andi and Anne for sharing your conversation.
Thank you for confirming my belief that my career as an audiobook narrator is not threatened by AI, because computer programs that do what I do would be too expensive to engineer, at least in my lifetime. I make inspiring, nourishing stories more accessible to individual people. I do not aspire to be a worldwide recognized voice in demand by the largest corporations, or to record syllables that can be combined to form many words in many languages.
Thank you for broadening my perspective on the great roles of AI in VO, specifically enabling people who have voice-robbing diseases like ALS, to bank their voices to be used as the disease progresses. I remember the deeply contemplative mood I fell into when I visited Disneyland as a thirteen-year-old and saw a robotic President Abraham Lincoln deliver The Gettysburg Address. He was clearly a robot, but what moved me was how well crafted his presentation was, based on over 100 years of actors impersonating him. How marvelous to think of “banking” celebrities’ voices for future AI-generated recordings! What a great way for influential speakers and their heirs to secure their asset’s value!
I remember a mother seeking someone to filter her recently-deceased son’s voice from a recording of noise. She thought he might be saying something like, “Mom I love you.” How much might that mean to someone while grieving — even if AI creates it — using the person’s actual voice?
I understand that voice actors and computer software engineers are contributing their skills, vision, and intelligence to develop AI for audio production. I wonder how linguistics scholars are contributing to AI development.
Twenty years ago, I received significant praise when I answered my business phone, because I sounded like a professional recording. I wonder if people will become so accustomed to AI-produced recordings that common speech will take on AI’s distinguishing characteristics.
Thank you for all you’re doing to inspire and nourish!November 4, 2021 at 1:32 pm #4660
Since this conversation was posted, AI has come much closer to audiobooks, much more quickly. The new CEO of Bee Audio sent an email to the narrators’ roster mentioning that Bee had already been working on AI/TTS (text to speech) as relates to audiobooks, causing quite a few narrators to remove themselves from that roster in protest. Then Publishers Weekly featured an article about AI and Audiobooks which caused further uproar.
In the midst of all of this, a new organization that had already been in the planning stages for some time opened its doors to members – the Professional Audiobook Narrators Association, or PANA. Several narrator.life faculty members are also PANA board members. You can find more information at pronarrators.org
It is so important to inform yourself about developments in AI voice that affect our professional milieu, especially the ethical issues at hand. This is not a future eventuality, it is a present concern.November 13, 2022 at 9:15 pm #7179
I just found this! I didn’t know about narrator.live. Thank you Andi, Camia and Anne for this really informative discussion.
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