A synthetic voice is no longer a gimmick or something out of a science fiction movie. It is now a reality that businesses can use to their advantage. Many companies, such as Harvard Business Review, The Economist, and The Washington Post, use this AI technology for their voiceovers.
In this article, I’ll discuss the differences between an AI voice and a human voice and how synthetic voices have become so good that it’s hard to tell them apart from human speech.
There are also considerable costs and time savings that businesses can expect from using text-to-speech software.
Exploring AI Voice vs Human Voice
What is a Synthetic Voice?
Computer scientists and linguists have created synthetic voices using computer programs with artificial intelligence to create a realistic-sounding voice that can be used for text-to-speech applications.
The speech synthesis program considers the intonation, pitch, and rhythm of a person’s speech to create a natural voice and easy to understand.
The beauty of it is that you can type in what you want to say and choose your preferred voice, and that’s it; you’re done!
You may remember the late Steven Hawking’s synthetic voice, a computer-generated voice to enable him to communicate. AI speech software is simply that process, but today AI technology has come on in leaps and bounds to allow very human-like speech.
Look at how AI writing tools are transforming content creation, enabling businesses to 10x their output while maintaining quality.
Can an AI Voice Generator Match The Human Voice?
So this is a tough one, as it’s very subjective, depending on who is listening! But for sure, right now, at least, human speech is more natural and copes better with difficult pronunciations than the AI can, but the technology is catching up fast.
Check out this short comparison between a real voice and the cloned voice from BeyondWords:
Recently, AI voice generators have become human-like in their speech patterns. This is thanks to machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) advances. With the correct data, algorithms can now learn to generate speech that sounds convincingly human.
This has many applications, from voice-activated assistants like Siri and Alexa to automated customer service systems. In all these cases, they must be as human as possible. Otherwise, people may find it difficult to trust or understand what it’s saying.
Fortunately, voice generators can now produce realistic voices that are on par with those of human speakers. This means that businesses can rely on them for tasks such as customer communication and support, voiceovers, and many more.
What Are The Main Benefits of AI Voice Technology?
Many people can benefit from this technology, especially businesses. For example, a professional voice actor reading up to a thousand words can cost up to a thousand dollars.
In addition, if you’re looking for continuity for more recording, you need to have the same actor back again; otherwise, a company’s branding will suffer.
When you think of using multiple languages for a project, the costs and difficulties rise even more, meaning you have to use multiple voice actors, which sends the costs spiraling. With AI, your cost remains unchanged, and no extra time or money is needed.
With AI, you can save a lot of time, money, and planning by simply using the same voice! You can select from literally hundreds of custom voices to ensure you have the right one for your needs.
You may have read about the actor from the Top Gun films, Val Kilmer, having suffered from throat cancer, and was left unable to speak properly.
A company called Sonantic helped build an AI version of his voice from many different sources of his previous acting, as he couldn’t speak the words himself to model with.
This is an example of speech-to-speech (STS) technology as opposed to the more usual form of text-to-speech (TTS). Using a person’s actual speech enables an even more realistic end result.
He has now banked his voice and can use it for other projects. What a fantastic example of AI technology’s power and cloning your voice to add your personality to future projects.
Another actor, James Earl Jones, known as the voice of Darth Vader, also recently banked his voice using a company called Respeecher.
The company has analyzed multiple versions of his voice from the seventies onwards and has a complete profile of the young and older versions of the actor’s voice. The actor has licensed his voice for future productions.
Will AI Replace Human Voice Actors?
The future of voice actors is uncertain but safe, in my opinion.
Voice actors can use their synthetic voice to supplement their work, creating a more seamless experience for the audience.
For example, and I know from my experience of doing voiceovers myself, there is a limit on how much work you can do in a day, usually around five or six hours; otherwise, you can harm your voice.
So you record your voice with AI and can have it working for you 24/7!
In fact, using this method, some actors earn thousands of dollars a month in passive income.
In the future, I’m sure voice actors will continue to play an essential role in the entertainment industry.
Potential Medical Applications
A fascinating advance using AI speech software has been reported by Maastricht University scientists, who claim to have developed a mobile app for detecting Covid that is more effective than lateral flow tests.
They claim that it’s 89% accurate, much cheaper, and easier to access, especially in poorer countries than traditional testing kits.
The user simply needs to speak a little and cough in the recording, and the result is almost instant. This is still in the early stages of development but promises to potentially revolutionize how we detect certain illnesses.
AI voice generator technology has come a long way in recent years and can now generate speech that sounds convincingly more like a human, with emotion and intonation.
This is only the beginning; within a short time, voice generators will be even better and used in more applications.
Apart from helping companies save on costs and speed up projects, medical applications are one of my favorite areas, helping people get access previously and for little or no cost and even saving lives in the process.
So an exciting future awaits us with AI speech software, and I look forward to the coming technological advances and maybe even just around the corner.
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