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Artificial voices generated from text. The future of video narration?


Happy Daze
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I recently signed up to a cheap online service which allows me to generate unlimited voices from text and use them in videos for a one off fee.

The package that I purchased has 30 voices available and all but about 4 voices are fairly naff. There is one female voice in particular that is actually quite decent, but it still has many limitations.

With progress in this technology I can see that narration for film, videos and books, will possibly negate the need for human presenters. There is already technologies where you can train software using your own, or some other voice. With some improvements in inflections I'm sure that the use of these artificial voices may become more widespread.

What do you think? Is this good or bad? Do you know of a service that currently has this nailed?

I produced a short video (a review of a polarising filter from Amazon Basics) to test the water, this uses a couple of the voices that I have available to me. The female voice is much nicer than the male voice, see what you think. I won't be using this in all of my videos but I think the female voice will feature occasionally.

https://youtu.be/q9NceQBXa1s

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There's a bit of controversy surrounding this topic in regards to the new Anthony Bourdain documentary. Not being a random voice, but, the voice of an actual person.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-07-26/la-et-anthony-bourdain-deepfake-ai-voice-documentary-audio-cgi

I think these AI voice techniques will become common place much sooner than later. Similar to how AutoTune has tarnished the perceived artistry of a well executed vocal performance, this will degrade the sense of comfort and companionship a great voiceover performance provides.

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i think, make art now. has an interesting interpretation of adding an ai voice to his vlogs. How much is orchestrated and how much is  ai i dont know. but i do enjoy his efforts. On the other hand... most robot voices just completely ruin it for me. I guess its early days for this kinda stuff.  Its a powerful tool for some poor sod, thats born a mute however. I seriously doubt my voice will ever win any awards Still i'd rather use it than some robot plugin thingy. At this point of the game i think we should be embracing how someone can add to the mix rather than cutting some one out of it.  

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I know of no service that has 'nailed it'. I don't think any service will anytime soon. What's really missing is situational awareness. These services make no distinction between the word "look" directed to multiple people from a distance, or "look" in a one-to-one story in a living room.

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They sound convincing for the first few seconds then you can totally tell it's AI, it's like those stupid review videos on YT that are literally a voicebot reading promo text.

This one sounded a bit better.  I think if it improves more it will be a useful tool in adding voice overs, and I think it's a good thing if anything.  Especially if you're making a video in a language that's not your first, or if you're not comfortable using your own voice, or even if you just don't want to put the time and effort into actually doing a VO.  

Another use case is in an interview clip if you need to have a voice over with the question that you didn't pick up, etc... could be really great.

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Outlawed? Good luck with regulation!

A more likely solution would be a combination of a few things:

  • Platform verification and monitoring (Twitter does a good job)
  • NFTs to secure authorship
  • Education. Younger generations grow up w/ digital tech and are much more perceptive and discriminating. The gullible boomers are on the wrong side of disruptive technologies, but this too shall pass

Anyways, there's also a creative and productive element. Why can't a creator choose to express in a different voice? 

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