Voice Acting and AI (Google Bard)


Voice Acting and AI (Google Bard)

Opinions on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Voice Acting have come from many different angles. The clients, the talent, agents, ad agencies, etc.

But we haven’t heard from AI itself.

So I tasked Google’s AI (Bard) to give three varying opinions on the topic…

Bard Task: Write a news article about the future impact of artificial intelligence on the voice acting industry.

~~~ A1: ~~~

The Future of Voices: Can AI Harmony Blend with Human Heart?

The velvety tones of Morgan Freeman narrating your audiobook might one day come courtesy not of the Hollywood legend himself, but of a sophisticated algorithm. Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly redefining the landscape of voice acting, prompting both excitement and trepidation in the industry. So, what does the future hold for human voice actors in the age of the digital voice?

**The Rise of the Vocal Synthesizers:**
AI-powered voice generators are already creating eerily realistic human-like voices. These synthetic performers can deliver scripts in multiple languages and accents, offering creators unprecedented flexibility and efficiency. For smaller projects or quick turnarounds, AI voices could become the go-to choice, potentially displacing human actors from certain sectors.

**The Human Advantage:**
However, AI voices lack the nuances of human emotion and the improvisational skills crucial for complex narrative storytelling. The subtle tremor in a hero’s voice as they face danger, the playful lilt of a child, the warmth of a comforting confidante – these are the hallmarks of a skilled human actor that AI currently struggles to replicate. This “heart” factor could become the differentiating factor, ensuring human actors remain irreplaceable for emotionally charged roles and high-budget productions.

**Shifting Roles, Not Replaced Jobs:**
Instead of a zero-sum game, AI could reshape the role of voice actors. AI tools could handle repetitive tasks like reading basic instructions or product descriptions, freeing up human actors for more creative and emotionally demanding roles. AI could also provide real-time feedback and coaching, assisting actors in refining their performances.

**A Symphony of Innovation:**
The most optimistic scenario envisions a future where AI and human actors collaborate seamlessly. Imagine an AI generating various vocal options for a character, then the actor choosing and adding their own unique inflections and emotional interpretation. This hybrid approach could unlock new creative possibilities, enriching the storytelling experience.
The future of voice acting is likely to be a blend of human and machine talent. While AI might handle certain tasks, it’s unlikely to fully replace the artistry and emotional depth of human performers. The key lies in finding a harmonious blend, where technology augments human talent, creating a richer and more diverse soundscape for our ears to enjoy.

As AI voices continue to evolve, the questions remain: Will audiences readily accept synthetic actors? Will the industry adapt to incorporate this new technology? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain – the future of voice acting promises to be a fascinating and unpredictable journey.

~~~ A2: ~~~

Will AI Steal the Show? The Future of Voice Acting in a Machine-Made World

The human voice, once a pinnacle of storytelling, is facing a new competitor: artificial intelligence. While some fear a robot takeover of the airwaves, others see a revolution in the making. So, will AI silence the voices of flesh-and-blood actors, or will it usher in a golden age of sonic storytelling?

**The Rise of the Voice Bots:**
AI-powered voice generators are already creating realistic, expressive voices for commercials, audiobooks, and even video games. These synthetic actors offer advantages: they’re cheaper, faster, and can work 24/7. For low-budget projects or repetitive tasks, they’re a tempting alternative.

**But Can a Machine Capture the Soul?**
Human voice actors bring more than just words to the table. They infuse their performances with emotion, nuance, and improvisation – qualities that remain elusive for even the most sophisticated AI. Consider the emotional depth of a veteran actor voicing an animated character, or the subtle humor in a commercial delivered with perfect timing. These are the hallmarks of human artistry that AI still struggles to replicate.

**The Future: Collaboration, Not Competition:**
The most likely scenario is not a robot uprising, but a fusion of human and machine. AI could handle the grunt work, freeing up actors to focus on the creative aspects. Imagine an AI generating different voice options for a character, then the actor choosing and refining the one that best embodies the role. This collaboration could lead to even more nuanced and expressive performances.

**Beyond the Studio:**
AI could also open new doors for voice actors. Imagine personalized audiobooks narrated by your favorite actor, or interactive games where you converse with AI-powered characters voiced by real actors. These possibilities expand the reach of voice acting and create new avenues for income.

The future of voice acting is not a binary choice between humans and machines. It’s about embracing the unique strengths of both, using AI to enhance human creativity and storytelling. While AI may change the landscape of the industry, it’s unlikely to silence the voices that have captivated audiences for centuries. The future of voice acting is not about who takes the stage, but about how we use technology to tell even more powerful stories.

~~~ A3: ~~~

The Future of Voices: AI’s Impact on the Voice Acting Industry

The world of voice acting is on the cusp of a dramatic shift, driven by the ever-evolving power of artificial intelligence (AI). While some see AI as a threat, poised to replace human actors entirely, others envision a future where AI and human talent synergistically shape the sound of our stories.

**The Rise of the Machines:**
One of the most immediate impacts of AI is the creation of incredibly realistic synthetic voices. These voices can mimic human voices with stunning accuracy, even capturing subtle nuances like emotion and inflection. This technology has the potential to revolutionize fields like e-learning, audiobooks, and even animation, where AI-powered characters could deliver believable performances.

**Human-AI Collaboration:**
However, experts believe that AI won’t replace human actors entirely. Instead, it is likely to become a powerful tool, assisting actors in their craft. AI could handle repetitive tasks like lip-syncing or generating multiple voice options, freeing up actors to focus on the creative aspects of performance. Additionally, AI-powered feedback systems could help actors refine their delivery and hone their skills.

**New Frontiers in Storytelling:**
The possibilities extend beyond mere imitation. AI could open up entirely new avenues for storytelling, allowing for the creation of voices that are impossible for humans to produce, like those of aliens or mythical creatures. This could lead to a surge in immersive experiences, blurring the lines between reality and fiction.

**Challenges and Opportunities:**
Despite the exciting possibilities, the rise of AI also presents challenges. Ethical concerns surround issues like ownership of voice data and the potential for job displacement. Additionally, ensuring that AI-generated voices are diverse and inclusive will be crucial.

However, the voice acting industry has a long history of adapting to new technologies. With careful planning and collaboration, AI can become a valuable asset, not a threat. By embracing this technology, the industry can create even more captivating stories and reach wider audiences than ever before.

**The future of voice acting is a symphony waiting to be composed, with both humans and AI contributing their unique instruments. It’s a future filled with possibilities, and the stage is set for a truly remarkable performance.**

So, my fellow humans… what do you think of the above answers? There’s a bit of promise and a bit of doom. Only time will tell…


All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com



Authentic AI Voices


Authentic AI Voices

(random thoughts from a voice actor)

If you’re a voice actor, I’ll wager you’ve read or been a part of a discussion about AI Voices taking our jobs. Or one about casting for “Authentic” voices for a gig. What follows is some of my thoughts on both topics.

“Authentic” (and other meaningless words)
So, what exactly does “Authentic” mean to you when you see it in a casting notice? The people casting obviously have a reason to ask for “Authentic”. Sometimes it may be that the intended audience is from a particular region and they want to ensure it sounds right to them. Other times, the character is written for a particular ethnicity or sexual preference, etc.

But does that really *mean* anything?!?!? I’m in my 50’s, of Lebanese descent, and was raised in the Midwest. Does this mean I can only play Lebanese guys in their 50’s who are from Cleveland? I worked with a Japanese guy who was raised in Mexico and has a Mexican accent, and a South African who went to school in the UK and has a perfect RP dialect. Are they only limited to their ethnicity or to their childhood accents? And what about anyone with a multi-cultural origin or upbringing?

What is the point of acting? To fully inhabit a character, with all their traits, mannerisms, quirks, etc. To be believable to the audience. For me, that includes the vocal qualities like accent, tone, emotion, etc.

Bottom Line: as a voice actor, who isn’t seen on camera, I should be able to be cast for any role that I can convincingly portray. And so should everyone else.

For those who bring up the very real issue of under-representation for a particular group, I’d say that stems from a lack of opportunity. From the writing, to the casting, and even the funding for projects, whole groups are excluded from even auditioning.

Second Bottom Line: Leveling the playing field means being more inclusive, not less. More opportunity for all, not limiting who can play what. (Shakespeare, anyone? Hamilton?)

AI voices have definitely improved in the 15 years that I’ve been a professional voice actor. They are now good enough to take some of the less demanding jobs. Ones that are just straight information. Phone system prompts. Tech manuals for vision impaired. Voices on trains.

As we move forward into the future, it’s inevitable that AI voices will be doing more VO work. But how much? Will they eventually replace us entirely? I don’t think so. For roles in animation, games, audio books, commercials, etc., where a human voice with emotion and the ability to interpret the subtleties of human interaction in the script is needed, AI will have trouble being believable.

Bottom Line: If you’re doing work that could easily be replaced by an AI voice, now’s a good time to improve your acting skills and make a move to a different genre of VO.

To be honest, I’ve heard my share of really bad Voice Acting… by humans. I don’t know how they got the job in the first place, but if the client sees that AI is cheaper and better, then that’s where they’ll go.

Second Bottom Line: Don’t suck at your job.

Authentic AI Voices
Authentic AI VO Voice Acting

I know AI will eventually replace me as a Voice Actor… but the real question is: Will it have the correct skin color, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, gender designation and sexual preference for the role?


All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com