AI voice is teaching my kid about her feelings.
My 7 year old is intellectually disabled and is effectively in 1st grade (as of this writing). We're virtually schooled because of COVID so her teacher, over Teams, plays a few videos that go along with the subject matter at the time.
One of those was about feelings.
And it was voiced by an AI voice. Granted, this one is more of the 'Siri' version than the Mark Hamill AI used in a recent episode of 'The Book of Boba Fett', but it was still that stilted, soulless voice of an Artificial Intelligence.
Now I'm all for technology and progress and it's easy to write this post off as just a 'them dang 'puters is takin' our JAWBS!' from a voice actor.
But there WILL be some jobs taken. This one from my kid's class being one of them:
It's cheaper to highlight your text and record your mac's speech function saying the words for your video.
Even if you pay a service like Respeecher which, let's face it, no one short of Lucasfilm/Disney is going to be able to afford, you're probably going with a smaller, less sophisticated service like...I forgot the name.
But what exactly is the savings?
Yeah, you get a voiceover for your video but isn't the whole point of having a human voice stuff (whether Documentary, trailers, commercials, WHATEVER) to express and impart upon the listener or viewer an emotion?
Don't you want to move the listener? Inspire them to go out and get your brand/product/service?
I don't think you get that with the AI voiceovers. Even if the voice IS believable there's still that 'uncanny valley' where your brain is saying to itself, 'brain, this doesn't sound right and it's making me focus on how it doesn't sound right instead of the message.'
By saving dollars on the VO of the video you're RISKING the dollars you're hoping to obtain through the message of the video/movie/commercial.
Now, I can see the argument for using it on stuff like the video I reference above.
But isn't there a certain irony to a video about 'feelings' that's voiced by an AI that has none?
I think yes.
PS...I'm going to reach out to the producers of that video and see if they would be willing to hire me for these education videos. I'll post back when I hear back from them.