The big bad AI voice…

AI voices – why we are not panicking!


So, AI voices are here, and here to stay – and unfortunately for us I think they probably have their place. I do believe that for very VERY specific circumstances they can work, currently they are never as good as the real thing, but with very limited budgets/no budgets at all and for very limited word counts, and AI voice suffices. Think TikTok videos, Instagram reels etc. Nobody is going to spend the money on a proper VO artist to voice a TikTok video…

Currently they obviously don’t sound brilliant, for the vast majority of applications they sound wooden and robotic and without emphasis on the right words, all the things we know are extremely difficult to code and release. But, improvements have clearly been made and will continue to be made. There will come a time when they sound half decent. But I think they will sound half decent for this application only still – very short form.

I also believe that the bread and butter of the industry, in terms of TV and radio campaigns needs the human touch more keenly. This industry doesn’t want half decent, they want perfection and that is what our voices can deliver. The ability to take direction from a client or director, the ability to add perfect inflection on specific syllables, the ability to change the delivery from one mood to another in an instant. These are all things that an AI voice is not going to be able to do with ease for a very long time, if ever. It’s the human emotion, the human condition that separates the human VO from the AI.

The issue that I also catch in the AI voice is that intangible aspect that keeps a listener engaged over and above about 2 mins of speech. It is going to be very difficult to enable an AI voice to have the dynamism of a human voice over and above that length. For e-learning and audiobooks for example, the long form delivery that we engage in, you need to keep the audiences focus and attention. In the case of e-learning, this can even have safety connotations, so the importance of keeping a persons attention can be genuinely important.

So – let’s not panic – we as voice over artists are here to stay for some time yet!


About Babble


We love voices and we love what we do. Since we opened our doors in 2007, bringing fresh talent to an ever-expanding industry, we’ve supplied voiceover artists to clients  across the world, on commercials, animation, video games… you name it, one of our VOs has done it. Why should you choose us? With over 30 years experience across the commercial and production industry, we’d like to think we know our stuff, and will use that knowledge to make your life easier. We listen to your casting, production and budgetary needs and supply you with the best voice for the job. Babble – top talent, sounding great.

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Phil Seys