There’s no doubt that AI voices deliver a number of benefits to businesses seeking to cut costs and time on producing different types of audio or mixed content. However, what about those who are (or were) central figures of the voice-over industry? There is the existing fear in the voice-over industry that actors may lose their profession due to the increasing capabilities of voice cloning technology.
However, are these concerns even close to the real state of affairs? Or maybe there are more benefits and opportunities for voice actors thanks to modern voice cloning technology? Let’s figure that out.
Voice cloning concerns
Like so many other industries where technology is changing the working place, voice actors have concerns that voice cloning technology will render their jobs obsolete. So let’s make it clear why this fear is unfounded:
- First, the work of a voice actor cannot be replaced by AI due to holistic constraints. For example, text-to-speech technology will not be able to implement all the voice nuances a human being can produce, and there is no ability to add the necessary shade to speech at any time. One can’t control AI to the same extent one can control their vocal apparatus — an amazing instrument a human was born with.
- It’s the same with speech-to-speech, which always requires an actor anyway. And one actor, whose voice will be cloned, will not be able to replace all the other actors. The fact is that the volume of content is growing rapidly every year. At the same time, the number of voice actors entering the industry is slow. Accordingly, thanks to the global growth of audiovisual content produced globally, there is only more work for voice actors, regardless of whether their voice is cloned or they only work with their voice.
But what about opportunities?
Despite all the fears, today’s voice cloning capabilities are of increasing interest to actors. Here are some of the opportunities that the technology is capable of delivering:
- Work allocation. How are voice actors hired? Several factors play an important role here. The first factor is their level of professionalism, their acting skills, and how they fit the character. The second is their voice. But the possibilities of a single voice are limited. There are cases when one actor voices 6–7 different characters. But usually, one actor = one character. Voice cloning technology makes it possible to hire actors not for their voice but only for their other acting qualities. Thus, we get a fairer selection and a better work allocation for the actor.
- Character voices. Voice actors often have the task of performing unusual voices. It can be the voice of some magical object, the voice of some mystical character or animal, and so on. Such tasks are popular in the voice acting of video games. Often, these voices require a special load on the vocal cords, after which the actor needs a mandatory rest. Actors tell us cases when they can do a particular voice for only15 minutes a day and then they’re not able to work this day anymore. Also in many character-voices cases — it really hurts, physically.
- Thanks to voice cloning technology, it is possible to take a recording of an actor’s voice character and replicate it to conserve the actor’s health and extend the capabilities of their voice.
- Voice rejuvenation. It often happens that for the voice acting of games, flashbacks with a younger version of a character are needed. But the actor who voiced the character has also aged. Their voices crack or have hardened. Finding another young actor with the same voice is almost impossible. In addition, the actor also wants to stay on the project and continue to voice their character. Voice cloning technology easily solves this problem.
- Multilinguality and accent. Voice cloning can also be used to translate an actor’s words into different languages. This means that for some pieces of content, actors don’t need to learn a new language (or languages). They can focus on acting at their best without being disturbed or confused by the need to practice an entirely new skill. Also if a content creator needs a particular actor to have an accentified voice for the piece — the voice can be driven by another person who has the required accent.
- Monetization. Actors get the opportunity to monetize their voices without having to directly work in voice acting. When an actor makes their voice available on a text-to-speech platform, they receive transactions from each order. In addition to money, actors make themselves known and strengthen their voice brand when a customer purchases the voice of a particular actor. For example, a voiceover artist and actor from Texas, Mr. Heller, turned to voice cloning to future-proof their career. The actor says that in case he is double-booked, his voice clone can do one of the jobs instead.
Make voice cloning technology work for you
People invented technology so that other people can reap the benefits of it. If you are afraid of something, maybe all you need is to look at it from a different angle. Instead of seeing obstacles, you may see opportunities that no one else has noticed.
Respeecher is at your service to help you leverage all the benefits of voice cloning technology.
This article was initially published on the Respeecher blog.