Am I the only VO guy that cares about the encroaching threat of Artificial Intelligence-driven synthetic voice technology?
It’s seriously getting good.
I’ll not waste your time listing all the blogs I’ve written about the many players in this blooming field. Adobe and Sony to name a couple, and Amazon is now stepping it up in a big way.
I remember the first Kindle I bought almost a decade ago. Embedded in the program was the robotic voice delivery of any copy you put on the page. How much more it has advanced since then!
The slippery slope in this case is that AI-driven voice-synth programs will get so good that they approximate even fine nuances of human emotion in digital utterances. Audiophiles may turn up their noses at even THESE advances, but believe me, budget minded producers, instructional eLearning designers, and even video game creators will be adopting the technology to save a buck. And you know what? A good many of the people buying and listening to these products may not even notice that it’s voice-synth.
Now, Amazon ups the ante with POLLY.
Amazon Polly uses a WordPress plugin that adds text-to-speech capability to any WP site. They claim “deep learning technologies” make this possible. I don’t doubt it. Amazon has the kind of deep pockets to make this happen, and it will lead to eager sign-ups and use on websites, which will not only make Jeff Bezos richer, but will further accommodate listener’s ears to “fake voices”.
Yeah…I’m fanning the flames of fear a little bit.
The quintessential cliché cultural image of the parrot (Polly) in movies and TV is one of a dead-on copy of human phrasing. It’s almost like Amazon Polly is throwing that in our face. But they’re not THAT aggressively hoping to gobble up markets, are they?
They don’t even know we exist.