AI Voice-over

AI voice over

AI voice over…or artificial voice. We used to call it progress. Now artificiality in the creative sector is mostly seen as a threat. But is that justified?

There is no escape, of course. You read it everywhere. We are doomed. Everyone working in the creative sector is going to lose their jobs if the news reports are to be believed. From copywriter, to photographer, to animator, musician and voice actor. Thus, the first fatality occurred recently! The regular Aldi voice has been replaced by an AI voice-over. It was front-page news nationwide and was even in the primetime NOS news.

My phone rings. RTL Boulevard. Whether I’m not afraid of losing my job? NO! And if I could say something about that in the TV broadcast? YES GREAT! And so I sat with my voice-over head in RTL Boulevard. Did you miss it? Then read on. Here I tell you why we need not to fear AI and can embrace it.

Let’s start with the Aldi- AI voice over.

Permanent voice of a major brand you are never for life. Exceptions of course. I had my longest ”regular” client for about 5 years. After that, they were ready for something new. A new direction, a different approach to the target audience, a new sound … And that really makes a lot of sense. This is how marketing works. To stand still is to die. That’s just the way it is. Needless to say, I was super happy with those 5 years. And equally good friends if the client chooses a different fresh sound. That’s how voice-over life goes.

As for Aldi, they were also ready for a new sound. That could have been another voice-over, but they wanted it to be even more special! They chose as many as 10 new voiceovers. Their own employees. With Artificial Intelligence, they created one new AI voiceover based on recorded voiceovers from their employees. Brilliant right?

But, don’t think now that they have a computer where they push a text in and it comes out ready-made topnotch voiced by that AI voice over.

No. That’s not how it works.

Aldi’s AI voice over is first recorded by a professional voice-over and then that voice is distorted with their new artificial voice. So the basis of the Aldi audio is still laid by a real-man voice actor.

And yes, you see wonderful things coming by online. Productions that look (almost) real or sound flawless. But you don’t know how much was tinkered with afterwards, because they don’t tell you that.

Don’t get me wrong lol, you can certainly generate cool content with AI. In some creative fields, perhaps a little easier than in others. But a beautiful and nicely flowing voice over, which puts exactly the accents and intonation the way you want it, and then also tells the story with the right emotion, cannot be done with an AI voice over.

It is also going to take a very long time for that to happen. Therefore, I am not afraid. Hugely interesting it certainly is and I am happy to follow it closely.

For example, a few years ago I invested in an AI Speech Technology Company that has since created my own AI voice over.

In fact, I think AI can do tremendous good for the world and we just need to embrace it. Tech has a future. Together with man.

For days I sat in front of the computer recording the workouts. And now the first model is ready. So I have access to my own AI voiceover. And yes, you put in a text and a spoken voice over rolls out, with my voice. But does it sound good? Can you use it for your production?

Hell no. My AI voiceover (now) simply lacks flow, nuance and emotion.

And calling my AI voice over to fine tune the text is also difficult. And how about exact timing on that English video. Precisely matching the original timing? My AI voice over also cannot switch between Dutch and English. And these days Dutch spoken language is steeped in English terms. So she doesn’t understand a f*ck of that. Just rounding a sentence alternately up or down so the client can choose in the final edit is totally a no go for my computer voice.

And yes, of course there is a market for AI voiceovers, for example, for Google Assistant or Siri. But if you really want to have your particular story told convincingly and make sure your audience believes it, you won’t get away with an AI voiceover.

Take robots. How long have people been trying to build artificial humans, or pets?

Exactly, for decades. And are most people wanting that? I don’t think so. Yes if your name is “Elon” maybe. No, nothing beats petting a real cat or dog. As long as humans exist, there will always be a demand for “real humanity. In everything.

Indeed, the more artificial we make the more urgent and greater the demand for “real” becomes.

People want authenticity, nature, warmth, emotion … feel it! ChatGPT is top for sparring, but nothing beats a good conversation with a real person.

That said, AI is fantastic and can be used well in all kinds of industries. AI can help people. But the demand for truly humane voice-overs (and other professionals) will always remain. For me, it’s a matter of continuing to do such good work that clients keep booking me.

No problem! Moving with the times and continuing to develop on all fronts is my strength. I speak today’s language and offer added value to my clients in voice-over, textual and creative terms. I offer the total package.

Hear what the artificial Barbara sounds like? Check it out here!

Still prefer a “real” voice over for your production? With me you have a good one. I make it exactly the way you want it. From cheerful, to informative, corporate or cool. Tweak your text if needed. No AI voiceover can beat that. Want to know more? Send me a message and get an answer today.

Beautiful day, Bar

Share this post:

More reading.


Becoming a Voice Over

You would like to become a Voice Over. Be your own boss, be creative, set your own hours, work from home. Totally 2024! But how do you do that? so!

Read More

Automatically read along? Subscribe to VOICELAND and receive a tasty VOICE story every QUARTERLY.

voice-over en stemacteur Barbara Karel palmboom