Our voice is like a digital fingerprint, and it includes harmonic, tone and pause components. It gives you a personality, a connection, a unique memory. The voice is getting back into the limelight thanks to the virtual assistants or Artificial Intelligence. In a not-so-distant future, the AI most likely will learn certain undertones, which will enable it to provoke emotions with its voice same as we humans do.
Juliana Rueda is an entrepeneur and a pioneer of the audiobook in Spanish. She has worked foro ver fifteen years in the audiobook business, or in other words, in the world of narrated books. The sector is constantly growing and the voice is one of its most relevant factors. “For now, the voice is what differentiates us as humans”, Juliana states. The secret when reading the book to the listener is to do it from the emotions. It is where the process of immersion begins in an audiobook. “The voice, something so ancient, has become very modern all of a sudden. This is because it has been giving a space in entertainment it did not have before”.
On the other hand, the rhythm, the pauses, the lack of respiration of machine reading result in a story that does not evolve correctly, and the spectator does not follow it. An emotional component is necessary. Therefore, depending on the product to be developed, the machine is more or less suited. “At present, the human voice gives you personality, a connection, a name. It takes you to an emotional ride when it entertains you. Today, a machine is useful for a more immediate use of news or services.”
Gradually, there are tests made with artificial voices in audiobooks that, in a not-so-distant future, probably will enable the Artificial Intelligence to learn certain undertones, which will enable it to provoke emotions with its voice same as we humans do.
Another handicap of the artificial voice for the audiobook industry is the cost. There is still a lot of post-editing to be made, which makes the process more expensive. So a human voice by an actor and an artificial machine voice have the same costs still, and end of the day the client always prefers a human voice when listening to an audiobook, because it is what stirs emotions in us.
What does the future hold for the voice? We will find out then, but we wish to enjoy the opportunity to construct a future where the machines speak and make us feel same as the human voice does.