How is Artificial Inteligence impacting Voiceover artists?
I guess I could say humanity has, in general, been experiencing a funny feeling of not being ready to handle Artificial Intelligence, of surprise with how fast it’s been developing and of uncertainty regarding our future. Will it replace some of our jobs? Will we lose touch with what makes us humans? Will it ever be able to think like we do? Will it ever be able to fake real human emotions? What will the world be like in 10 years? Voiceover actors all over the world have been asking ourselves the same questions, but something is going on which is particularly concerning for us.
On the one hand, we’re gradually seeing more AI produced voices in the market, and even though we can still easily detect their robotic and unnatural tone, we wonder if one day AI will be able to produce voices that can actually sound like a real human being, especially in jobs that require more emotion or tone variations. However, on the other hand, we are seeing something very ugly happen: some of the AI voices we hear have been generated from real artists’ voices without their permission and without giving them appropriate financial compensation for this use. Having your voice in a machine freely generating content often means big, unlimited and exponential exposition, which means actors who sell their voices to feed AI should be very well paid. In short: more than worrying about the fact that AI might one day replace us, we are also worried about our voices being stolen to feed AI. Every day we read articles such as this one, discussing the topic and exposing cases of abuse by big companies and illegal use of our voices.
This is, of course, a horrifying scenario for artists who have dedicated their lives to mastering a profession: so much time, energy, effort, passion, to see their work and their identity being stolen to create something that is attempting to replace them. We are, however, determined to transform anger and frustration into action and are getting together all over the world to demand urgent regulation and appropriate punishment to all companies that are trying to use our voices without paying accordingly for it. And for the time being, we still sound way better than machines and good companies keep trusting the work of humans, with our passion and souls, to sell their brands. I’m still telling stories and provoking emotions in Brazilian Portuguese and International English. Together we are stronger!