Will Computers and AI Ever Be Able to Replace Human Voice Actors?
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
Right now, the total Artificial Intelligence industry is valued at $3.5 billion. By 2023, that number is expected to swell to $26.4 billion as more investors, engineers, coders, and designers are leveraging this kind of smart technology to create new, automated, and improved processes in our world. For many one-dimensional tasks, like scanning security footage for evidence of a robber, or providing rideshare options to people through an app, AI is definitely expediting our world today.
However, for other tasks, like human voiceovers, that require innate human intonation, emotion, and feeling that can’t be replicated or assumed by a computer, AI is unable to replicate the exact delivery of a real, live, human being.
It’s important that we recognize technology can do many things – but it cannot take the place of human beings. So will computers and AI ever be able to replace human voiceover actors? Here’s why they won’t:
Tonal Inflections: When you speak, there is a lot more to communicating than using words. There is tonal inflection, speech patterns, sounds, and breathing factored into the delivery. In order for you to be enticed by someone else’s voice and their speaking, all of these factors need to come together in an appealing melody that makes you want to hear more. They are internal changes and inflections that cannot be mimicked by AI robots. Why? Robots scan thousands of data points to grow in their ability. However, since everyone is unique in their voiceover ability, these computers can simply not replicate our innate emotion – it’s something related to our "souls", so to speak.
Unique Resonance: Every single person has a unique resonance, tone, and timbre to their voice. There’s a reason you can pick out your mother’s voice in a crowded room. This is a product of an evolutionary adaption that enables us to pick out our loved ones amid mounting threats. This kind of recognition only comes from within human beings – computers would sound monotone, similar, and emotionless. It might actually make you go crazy!
Lack of Judgment: One of the famous downfalls of AI is that it does not come with the ability to make a judgment call. We have seen this happen multiple times in law enforcement scenarios where the technology falls short of making a finalized decision given recent information. This AI con would make it impossible for computers to understand when they should change their intonation based on context and new information.
Now, that’s not to say AI isn’t going to revolutionize our world in many ways. For automated tasks, everyday chores, screenings, security monitoring, and many other critical services, AI is going to improve the world we know today while decreasing human error.
But for everything related to innate human expression, individuality, and the very essence of what makes us human beings, computers will never be able to stand in the way. Voiceover artists will remain relevant.