Over the years, technology has become one of the most significant contributing factors to the lives of humans. So much so that even it has got a good grip on the books we read. Yes, you heard that right! People today can easily record their voices while reading a storybook. By this, we mean narrating a book to others who are too lazy or have a hectic “overload” routine.
The future of audiobooks is bright, but not for those who admire their voice. Sad but true! We think that audiobooks are the modern rollout of voiceover entertainment, but it’s not. We can trace its existence as early as the 1970s. The big black disks or vinyl came in handy in the past to record music and voices. These were first used to teach students at school or rotated in a library for lip-zip audiences. In early times, audiobook production wasn’t a well-off business, but now it’s transforming into a beautiful butterfly.
But today, audiobooks are all the rage. Now they have touched their supremacy; reached a breaking point of traditional voiceover narratives and listening. AI (Artificial Intelligence) has shown promising results for the ever-growing audiobook industry.
Unquestionably, audiobooks are growing with leaps and bounds. AI has taken over and is competing with desperate profound human voices trying to beat the powers of computer-generated linguistics. But now, things are out of their control, as AI has surpassed all of our expectations. We have tried to summarize the complete picture of AI-Audiobook marvel down below:
Latest Developments in AI Assistant technologies
The earliest audiobook technology was first introduced in the GPS tracking system. We are talking about the map we follow today to reach a specific destination. Remember the voice of the lady we all heard while riding across the streets? It’s the same phenomenon that we can use for audiobooks.
Other audiobook postures include Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Alexa by Amazon. Though significant improvements have been made in a few years, these are still far from touching the natural human tone. But things are getting busy for the audiobook industry. Many digital book companies are running trails to be the first to become the first firm to launch a full-fledged AI-powered platform. Nowadays, audiobook services are growing in popularity at a rapid pace.
On the other hand, we have the American multinational technology firm NVIDIA’s GPU learning advancements. It is making efforts to create effective deep machine learning methods. The company has now introduced new research and tools that can capture natural human voices. The Santa Clara company has shown promising results for training AI systems directly from the speaker sounds.
Google’s subsidiary Google Play Books is paving ways and hopes for machine-generated voices. The chief spokesperson at Google has told the news that anyone who wishes to narrate their book using artificial intelligence is welcome. Please take note. It does not apply to books that already have their audiobook versions. The decision solely lies on the writers and publishers who own the copyright assets for the books.
Surprisingly, the AI-narration technologies are cheaper than their counterparts – humans. These computer voices will be easier to manage and convenient for post-production services. It would be, perhaps, the best thing an audiobook publisher will have on their tables. Instead of calling back human narrators, the whole rephrased text will be adjustable with a single click of a button.
AI-powered audiobooks have lots of benefits. First, you can change the gender of the narrator. For instance, you can listen to the LOTR book series in a woman’s voice instead of a male narrator. The audiobook AI features are excellent. Not only can you change a male voice into a female or vice versa, but also select diverse voices for it.
Speechki is a revolutionary AI tool for audiobooks. It’s a new recording platform to create and use AI synthetic narrations to record audio in a few minutes. The famous AI recorder has already recorded more than 800 books using artificial intelligence. Astonishingly, they have sealed the deal for another 1000 books ready for publication using AI voices.
The audiobooks currently have a bleak share of less than 5% in the book world. But Speechki projects to convert it into a staggering 24% by the year 2027. The CEO of Speechki, Dima Abramov, told during her interview with the Audio Publishers association that she has no interest in replacing the natural human voice with AI narrators. All she wants is to provide users, and vision-impaired people have diverse content listening opportunities through it.
The AI Storytelling Controversy
The narration controversy has taken a toll over the years. We all know that artificial intelligence has its consequences. It is a matter of time when things will change dramatically, shifting from human voices to synthetic tones. CNN’s documentary ‘Roadrunner’ is an excellent example. It covers the story of the life and death of Anthony Bourdain.
Everything started when filmmakers created a reproduction of the “Bourdain” voice by using AI technology. It was the reason for ethical debates that stirred across the world. Law and justice saw it as a menace against innocents, i.e., using fake voices to get someone in trouble in court, becoming a piece of cake.
AI voices are unlikely to take over the world soon because of the chances of their sensitive usage. For instance, someone can create a fake “dead man’s will” to become the owner of one’s life’s hard-earned possessions. Besides, a synthetic voice of a person should have a consent form to allow it to happen beforehand.
Today, deep fakes are becoming a reality. It’s a threat to human decency, innocence and against all morals. But still, it is used for criminalizing/vandalizing purposes by lawbreakers, notorious organizations, and even kidnappers who ask for ransom.